Dakar: Day 15 "My Dakar" statements

Be A part of the Legend Everyday feelings of those who are not specially famous but who dare the challenge and give a dream for those who stay behind... Michel Delaye - ESPACE MOTO - 184 For His People Like his friend Luc Pagnon,...

Be A part of the Legend
Everyday feelings of those who are not specially famous but who dare the challenge and give a dream for those who stay behind...

Michel Delaye - ESPACE MOTO - 184

For His People

Like his friend Luc Pagnon, Michel Delaye is a deeply sensitive biker. One example is a story that happened to him before the start in Clermont-Ferrand. "During a fair, an old man wanted to buy a jacket I had made especially for the Dakar. He put a 200€ note in my pocket and told me that I represented a whole area on the rally. I couldn't stop the tears". Michel isn't on the Dakar for the fun of it. His preparation started during the month of June. "I've done every possible thing to make it to Dakar. I worked physically and it's paying. I see others taking vitamins, I only drink water". His strength, Michel gets it from the others. When during the stage between Tidjikja and Nema, 20 competitors retire, he finds the energy coming from his village of Cheval-Blanc : "My rear wheel was stuck in the sand. I had no more strength and no more water. I was about to quit. I then thought of all my friends, my family, my village. Psychologically, I was able to carry on."

His wife, at his side at the rest day in Bobo explains that since her husband started the race, there isn't a day without someone from the village asking her for news. "I actually brought him two big envelopes full of support letters". Michel adds : " I don't want to read them straight away. I'll wait until I come back so I can read them in front of them and surprise them !".

The Telefónica-Dakar represents a " challenge and the result of a life in enduro. " It's also the possibility to help the others. Indeed, he is part of a fund called 'Creham' that helps handicapped people and shares his experience. Each handicapped person draws a painting of Michel's adventure. They will then be sold to raise money. "I had the possibility to spend some time with them and they're overexcited about sharing my experience. And it gives me even more strength".

Eric Vigouroux - PRO SYSTEM - 232

An Ambitious Privateer

What a surprise ? On the bivouac of Ayoun El Atrous, Eric Vigouroux has finally found Jean-Michel Charue, his mechanic he'd been counting on since a few stages.

Driving a T4 assistance vehicle, the mechanic that Vigouroux shared with Gache (no longer in the race), had just lived an 8 day nightmare. "I didn't understand all his problems but there's easily enough to write a book. Anyhow, I'm happy to find him again. I thought I would only see them in Dakar", explains Vigouroux.

And in his situation, the arms that are back working on his Pro-Truck Chevrolet aren't a luxury. Seven years after competing with a quad on the Dakar, the privateer has seriously changed . Now ambitious, he has a competitive car but not quite yet the possibility to annoy the top teams. "On one hand, we're almost professional because we have the support of two big companies (Chevrolet and United Airlines) that help us a lot. Then again, we remain privateers because we have a tiny assistance structure compared to the others. We would need four mechanics but have only two. If we damage a part of the car, it's difficult to change it."

Eric Vigouroux still has that privateer feeling and that makes him enjoy the progress made. "I'm not disappointed because it's great to still be here. Once upon a time, I started on a quad. Now I have a little team. Anyhow, when you're digging in the sand, there are no amateurs or pros. As soon as I had a taste of the Dakar, it was to become a real passion. It'll stay that way only if I can improve. If I stay at the same level, it would start getting boring."

-aso-

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Series Dakar