Dakar: Face to Face, day 17

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Face to Face The Dakar Magazine January 16, 2005 Everyday feelings of those who are not specially famous but who dare the challenge and give a dream for those who stay behind... Bertil Marcusson - Scandinavia - 058 "My rally is the...

Face to Face
The Dakar Magazine
January 16, 2005

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

Bertil Marcusson - Scandinavia - 058

"My rally is the Barcelone - Göteborg, via Dakar.

"I'll climb on the podium and make a U-turn". This year again, Bertil Marcusson was one of the rally sensations on the podium of the Telefonica Dakar. And indeed he deserved it: just arrived and already gone... turning back, putting his bags on the saddle, and taking off in the direction he had just come from to carry on his race all the way to Sweden and cover over 20 000 km! The guy is crazy! Last year already, for his first appearance on the race, he had made it to the start of the rally in Clermont-Ferrand after riding down from his hometown, Visby in Sweden! "It's great to be here. A second finish in two appearances is a big satisfaction. I will have to celebrate tonight with the team because tomorrow morning I'll hit the road again!

Like last year his new adventure finds its origin in a simple sentence: 'to make the impossible possible...' And that's how Bertil lives his life, wanting to prove that anyone can manage impossible things just as long as he finds the means to do it. "But this adventure doesn't mean that I feel too good for the Dakar. I have a huge respect for this event that is probably the greatest adventure still made possible for everyone. But other than the expenses I will not have to pay, it'll help me check out some tracks in the Western Sahara for a future raid. But I won't have a lot of time because I want to be in Goteborg for the 'two wheel festival' that will take place on the weekend of the 27th of January. I therefore only have between 10 and 12 days to get there, added to the fact that I have to go to Barcelona to get the winter equipment I left there in the hotel before the start.

However the 9000 first kilometres since the start in Barcelona to Dakar were that easy for the Visby citizen. "A gas leek made things difficult in the first part of the rally. Luckily I found out about it before the terrible Zouerat to Tichit stage where it actually went rather well for me. Thanks to my experience, I know that it's important to leave with a full tank so I only had to cope with my consumption to make it. I also had small clutch, gearbox and road book problems. But nothing too serious. Anyhow, compared to last year's mechanical nightmare, this edition went wonderfully well. As a member of the Scandinavia team, I had great assistance sharing the mechanic Pal-Anders Ullevalseter usually has with Bo Hansson, while Pal-Anders had another one for the Dakar. For me, it was key, especially for my return trip although I took it easily during the race to take care of the bike. It would be just too stupid to quit on the way back".

It however is only in his mechanical exploits that Bertil lives such a crazy experiences. He indeed stopped his life as a chief of project in a small company in 2003 to become a tour guide and bike raid organiser on his Gotland Island and along the Baltic Sea. "For the moment, this activity doesn't get a lot of money but the most important thing is that I can now totally focus on the bike that I ride every day now". A passion he has now transferred to his two little girls of 4 and 6. "I bought them a 50cc bike but because they are still too little, I have to push them to get the bike started. It's perfect for my Dakar physical preparation! Because this Swede is slightly crazy, one shouldn't be surprised if in the future he launches the Visby-Goteborg rally, via Dakar...

-aso-

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