Each New Year the most challenging motorcycle race endurance begins – the DAKAR! It’s start is always on 1 January and as a motorcycle enthusiast; it represents truly what a new year is all about – riding. This year once again our focus is on Dakar Rally Motorcycle women of rally. This 2012 Dakar has fewer women motorcycle riders than the year before. The current contenders are not newcomers to the game- though Dakar Rally Motorcycle is a new challenge of the most difficult every year no matter how many times you’ve succeeded in starting. At the time of writing this, stage seven (rest day), we now have just one woman rider remaining – Laia Sanz –who championed the Ladies Trophy last year within the Dakar.
Dakar Rally Motorcycle History
Lets not forget about the history of the Dakar and if you know anything about motorcycling, it is the highest, most prestigious motorcycle test of endurance one can attempt to ride. The adventure began back in 1977, when Thierry Sabine got lost on his motorbike in the Libyan desert during the Abidjan-Nice Rally. Saved from the sands in extremes, he returned to France still in thrall to this landscape and promising himself he would share his fascination with as many people as possible. He proceeded to come up with a route starting in Europe, continuing to Algiers and crossing Agadez before eventually finishing at Dakar. The founder coined a motto for his inspiration: “A challenge for those who go. A dream for those who stay behind.” Courtesy of his great conviction and that modicum of madness peculiar to all great ideas, the plan quickly became a reality. Since then, the Paris-Dakar, a unique event sparked by the spirit of adventure, open to all riders and carrying a message of friendship between all men, has never failed to challenge surprise and excite. Over the course of almost thirty years, it has generated innumerable sporting and human stories.
So far this year, we’ve seen tragedy, the tragic death of motorcyclists Jorge Boer (RIP) and a cancellation of an entire stage number six.
The sixth stage of the Dakar 2012 is cancelled. Due to bad weather situation Chilean authorities closed Paso de San Francisco earlier. Heavy snow and rainfall has been coming down in the area, and the participants of the Dakar will instead make the crossing over the Andes in a convoy. Safety comes first. Atmosphere in the bivouac must not be too joyful, every one is here to race… now losing the possibility of overtaking closest rival.
Dakar Rally Motorcycle Women 2012
Just two women enrolled this year in the bike category:
Laia Sanz #45
From Spain riding the GAS GAS sponsored Honda CRF 450X, this is her 2nd Dakar and was the winner of the 2011 Dakar Ladies Trophy- her first Dakar! She has a terrifically talented background an 11th time trial champion.
Rosa Romero Font #78
Rosa is also Spanish competing on a KTM 450 and first experienced the Dakar in 2006 on a Yamaha, but withdrew on the fifth stage. Sadly this year she also will not finish and for technical reasons withdrew during stage 3. She is a Mom of three. Am certain this is disappointing as just finishing the Dakar is firstly what most simply hopes for.She has great influence and knowledge of the Dakar being her husband is Nani Roma who has ridden the Dakar for 15 years now.
The quad group is another keen motorcycle class participated in by women and this year only one woman is present among the men!
Camelia Liparoti #259
For Camelia this is her 4th Dakar – she finished in 2011 in 10th position which is incredible! She rides a Yamaha YFM 700R. A journalist and photographer by professional, she is Italian but resides in France. Her first Dakar was in 2009 but did not complete a Dakar until 2012 and again in 2011.
In the Car division we have Isabelle Patisier #320 driving a Dessoude Buggy and with 10 Dakar’s behind her! And also first timer German Stefanie Manns #411 driving a McRae Pro Dakar Enduro
Women make terrific navigators – and many have always enjoyed the Dakar. This year we have Swiss Eugenie Decre #337 Co-driver of Gert Huzink; the French # 358 Christina Favre #358 co-driver with Frederic Favre and Argentinean #461 Adriana Andreani #461 co-driver with José Antonio Blangino.
Co-drivers in the truck category are Spanish Fina Roman #522
co driver with Jordan Juvanteny; Italian #564 Eleonora Dal Pra #564 with Giulio Verzeletti and also navigators Christina Favre #358, Stef Manns #411, Adriana Andreani #461 and Eleonora Dal Pra #564.
Former Dakar Rally Motorcycle Women Riders
The usual ladies are not in attendance this year – you’ll remember . . .
- Maria Sandell (SWE): the first Swedish female to finish the Dakar rally on motorcycle.
- Annie Seel (SWE)
- Mirjam Pol (NLD)
- Tamsin Jones (GBR)
- Tina Meier (DEU)
- Silvia Gianetti (ITA)
- Jenny Morgan (UK)
- Ludivine Puy (FRA)
Here are the withdrawals as of Stage Five (or Six):
- Motorcycle # 78 Rosa Romero Font 3rd stage withdrawal
- Car driver # 411 Stefanie Manns 5th stage withdrawal
- Co-driver car #461 Adriana Andreani no start in the 2012 Dakar rally
- Co-driver truck category #522 Fina Roman 4th stage withdrawal
- Co-driver truck category #564 Eleonora Dal Pra 4th stage withdrawal (this is an estimate as not noted in the official list and was their last position shown at stage three.