Mon 30 December 2019

Dakar 2020: new destination, new continent, new adventures

 Dakar 2020, as described by the new ASO Director, David Castera:

‘Every once in a while, all the signs indicate that we are on the verge of turning a new page of history. The book of the Dakar tells the story of all these characters who had the chance and talent to live multiple lives in one. It often compelled them to jump on opportunities, follow their dreams and tap into their courage to achieve and consolidate success. Back in his time, it was this very same vision that inspired Thierry Sabine to explore Africa with a group of pioneers, eventually culminating in the creation of the Dakar. Following 30 years of discoveries, fateful encounters and exploits, Étienne Lavigne rose to a new challenge when he took the rally across the Atlantic and brought Dakar fever to a new continent. Now, the time has come to set a new course and enter uncharted territory with the next destination of the Dakar and its competitors: Saudi Arabia.’

HT Rally Raid will be at the starting line with 7 riders:

Our first rider is Salman Mohammad, 32 years old and born and raised in the Kingdom of Bahrain. He started riding motocross in 2010 and will be the first rider from the Kingdom of Bahrain participating in the toughest rally of the world: the Dakar. His first rally was the Rally du Maroc in October of this year, and after some intensive training in the last few months, he is ready to start! Welcome in the team Salman!

The second team rider to introduce, is a well known person: Mirjam Pol. This Dutch woman will start the Dakar for the 8th time in 2020 with only one goal: finish the rally for the 7th time in her career! With a victory in the femal class in the Dakar a few years ago and her victories in the overall class in the Breslau and Balkan Rally this year, this woman has a lot of experience. Last year, Mirjam rode her best Dakar so far, and she will fight to make the 2020 Dakar even better! Good luck Mirjam!

Paul Spierings: Paul, from the Netherlands, starts the Dakar for the second time: last year, as a rookie, he finished the rally in a great 26th position as the best Dutch rider. In the mean time, he rode the Morocco Desert Challenge 2019 and managed to finish that rally in a third position, after which he also participated in the 1000 Dunas Rally. He is ready for Dakar 2020 and will start with number 37. Good luck, Paul!

Martien Jimmink: the next rider to introduce! Last year Martien made his debut in the Dakar at the age of 58. He achieved his goal of being the oldest Dutch motorbike rider ever to finish the Dakar. Martien returned home as a hero, with great stories of his adventures. After fulfilling his dream of finishing the Dakar ones, this Dutch rider, working in the business of the famous Dutch tulip bulbs, decided to do it once more. So Martien is back in Dakar 2020. Martien, it is an honour having you in the team! Good luck!

Calle Bjerkert, the 45-year-old Swede made his rally raid debut in this year's Merzouga Rally and claimed an impressive 16th place overall, but most important: he qualified for the Dakar. Calle jumped on a bike for the first time at the age of five and has shown no signs of wanting to get off ever since. He has been racing in enduro for around 30 years, coming second at the European championship in 1998. His main goal this first Dakar is to reach the finish line in Saudi Arabia, but don't be surprised if he ends up being one of the standout rookies of this 42nd edition. Welcome in the team, Calle!

Maciej GiemzaMaciej will be at the starting line of the Dakar for the third time. As a rookie two years ago, Maciej finished on a 24th position, being only 22 years old. A talented rider! Maciej is a two-time winner of the FIM Junior Cross-Country Rallies world championship. This Orlen Team star is a consistent, intelligent rider who knows when to step on the gas and when to take things easy. He grabbed a top-10 finish at the Silk Way Rally and a podium at the Hungarian Baja. After some extra dune riding in Dubai, he is ready for the start of the Dakar at the 5th of January. Good luck, Maciej!

Adam Tomiczek: after some bad luck in his first Dakar, Adam started his second Dakar in 2019, ending up exceeding all expectations with a superb 16th place overall. He did a great job in the Silkway rally with an 8th place overall and showed solid results on the other FIM rally raids this year. The former Polish champion in motocross and enduro, sponsored by Orlen, took some rest in the last months after a busy season, but is ready to race now! Good luck, Adam!



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