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Dakar 2021

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Dakar-2021-details-1.jpg


 

TNC

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I love watching the Dakar and keeping up with the equipment and such. Over on ADV Rider since last years Dakar there's a good deal of weeping and whining over it being in Saudi. Yeah, not my favorite folks, but things like having the Dakar there will probably have some positive influence on their culture at some point. And besides, much of the rest of the world seems to think off roading is the work of the devil and should not be allowed. Greenies have pushed off road venues to the curb in many nations, including ours to some degree. Saudi is willing to have it and welcome it, and I'm gonna watch it like I did last year. Frankly, I was a little amazed at the awesome scenery and terrain there. We often seem to get the impression that it's just sand dunes. I'm sure KTM will be looking to make a comeback.
 

woodsguy

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philipbarrett

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I used to be a Dakar fanatic, part of the uploading/torrenting team over on that other forum. I even worked some of the original rallies back in the early 80's when ABC was doing highlight packages. I have journalist friends that are out there right now.

But I just can't get any interest going anymore. It's just so far from Sabine's original vision it's not even recognizable as his race. Saudi is only a symptom, Dakar has become a massive financial operation and with that comes the needs to showcase the deep pockets of the factory teams, sponsors, TV networks and hosting country. The fabulous Malle Moto has become an annoyance to the organization, a fact they demonstrate with an almost complete lack of any coverage. If it wasn't for the likes of rider's YouTube channels you'd be hard pressed to know it even existed any longer. I know Skyler & wish him well but the orga has zero interest in the likes of him & his largely empty wallet.

Forget the Dakar & check out a race that does embody the spirit of the original (plus it actually goes to Dakar), the Africa Eco Race, you'll have to wait until '22 thanks to our friend COVID but they always have full daily coverage on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/user/AfricaEcoRace.

Oh yeah, it has a 680+cc Moto class too :nono:

MAP AER2020_0.jpg
 

philipbarrett

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Awesome story on Ricky and the Rally. The navigation is crazy tough.

Rip - Paulo https://www.cycleworld.com/story/motorcycle-racing/paulo-goncalves-dies-at-dakar-rally/
2 riders died in 2020, a tragic loss & another part of the problem, albeit 74 competitors before him (and the founder) have also died in the rally or been murdered in the case of Cabannes & Gueguen.

In earlier editions the race was as much about surviving as racing, this meant riding at 95% most of the time with bursts of 110% (flank speed for you naval types) where needed. Now the entire rally can easily be lost falling behind by a few minutes in a single stage so all the factory riders have to maintain risky speeds constantly & the likelihood of serious injury or race ending mechanical failure is greatly increased. Thankfully, at least safety equipment has improved exponentially over the years.

The navigation has actually got a lot easier than in the early days. Thierry's original concept was a race where the winner was the only finisher!
 

garfey

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Prologue Results (top 10 only, complete list at trackingdakar.nl or dakar.com):
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Note that these times get multiplied by 4 and, unlike previous years, are to be added into overall times. Apparently this was done in an effort to preclude "sandbagging" on the Prologue so as to get a more favorable starting position for Stage 1, i.e., not having to open track. Did it work? I doubt Toby Price is worried about a 1m28s deficit at this point.
 

woodsguy

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