Portrait of a lady, day nine

LUISA TRUCCO At 32 years old, a dog breeder and native of Settimo Rottaro (near Turin), Luisa Trucco already boasts 4 participations in the Dakar... as a truck driver! "I'm actually the only truck driver from Italy. I never thought I'd end up ...

LUISA TRUCCO

At 32 years old, a dog breeder and native of Settimo Rottaro (near Turin), Luisa Trucco already boasts 4 participations in the Dakar... as a truck driver! "I'm actually the only truck driver from Italy. I never thought I'd end up driving a truck," confides the Italian with a smile, "but Corrado Patono, a friend, let me try out his Unimog in Libya, and I really enjoyed it. After that, I took part in the Rally of the Pharaohs then the Dakar with him. When I have the time, I try and get out on my bike, a Yamaha R6, because I get a thrill out of speed and one day I'd like to race".

"In fact, it's the only training that I've done for the Dakar because I've tried endurance riding, but you need to start slowly to learn, and I just can't do that! So, it's probably dangerous for me because I fall too much. But physically, everything is fine and I'm in good form in spite of it all. Trucks seem huge and complicated, but in fact it's just like a big jeep... It's difficult in terms of your mentality, because trucks are slow and we often arrive late. What's more, it's a very bumpy ride. Sometimes, it's so shaky it feels like my stomach and brains have swapped places, and we get stuck in the ruts for hours on end..."

"The thing I like about this discipline, like in life, is finishing what you have started, even if it is hard! On this Dakar, I'm driving an Iveco and Corrado is my navigator. This South American edition is very tough and there is a lot of dust, but the landscape is magnificent and the people are incredibly kind and nice. They show us the holes and the pitfalls on the tracks... Africa is fascinating, but here it's really beautiful!"

-credit: aso

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Series Dakar