Dakar: Day 4 "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... Bertil Marcusson - RALLY RAID UK - 170 THE ROAD TO DAKAR STARTS IN VISBY FOR ...

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...

Bertil Marcusson - RALLY RAID UK - 170

THE ROAD TO DAKAR STARTS IN VISBY FOR MARCUSSON

Secretly, Bertil Marcusson maybe wanted to give Patrick Zaniroli (race organiser) new ideas for the start of the next Dakar. For his first Dakar rally and just before boarding the boat to Africa from Algeciras, the Swede indeed travelled across Europe from north to south. His rally started well before everyone else. “The name of my project for the Dakar is Visby-Dakar, Visby being the name of my home town, so I rode all the way down from there to Clermont-Ferrand. I left on the 26th of december for 2000kms and I had to take the ferry to go from the island where I live to mainland Sweden, then down Germany and France”. And the road to Clermont-Ferrand had its own secret ambushes : “The police even stopped me on the way, but the officer was a nice guy, especially when I told him I was going to the Dakar”.

For privateer Marcusson, this long journey was a bit of a dream. “Before I only knew the Dakar by watching my TV. You’re never prepared for such an event. I was able to do the race thanks to my company who thought it was a good idea to send someone on the Dakar. I’ve been riding bikes for all my life but never at this level. So, I’ve been training for the whole year, five days a week (15.000kms)”. A dream that came true thanks to the help of compatriot PG Lundmark. “He helped me a lot for the rally. He sent a letter to the Swedish federation telling them that I was well able to compete, so that I could get my licence. I also trained with him.

Kilometre after kilometre on the first three stages of the 2004 edition, the newcomer is gaining in confidence. He even beat his illustrious fellow countryman PG in the prologue. “It was nice of him to let me be the hero for a day”.

Whatever happens on the way to Dakar, his stage in Castellon will remain in his mind forever. “It was great out there. I loved it. Just as long as I don’t have to look at the road book, it’s fine. I was so happy I went on the rear wheel after the finish. The guy on the finish line wasn’t very happy!

Francis Laroche - CAP SUD OUEST AVENTURE - 269

ONE FOR ALL AND ALL FOR ONE

The word team takes all its importance when speaking of the “Team Sud Ouest Aventure”. It’s the story of 9 men, most of them chairmen of different businesses, that take part in a rally-raid staged in Tunisia. They all get to know each other. All leave the rally full of amazing experiences. One of them, Didier Villechalane then gets to watch the arrival of the 2003 Telefonica Dakar in Sharm-el-Sheik. From then on, all he has in mind is to do the next Dakar with his “buddies”.

One year later, the inseparable bunch is on the start line of the most famous rally-raid in the world. With four vehicles (three cars and an assistance truck), the six musketeers have a new dream : to get this armada to Dakar. And for that, they took sufficient measures. “We decided to do Patrick Zaniroli’s Dakar school (l’école du Dakar). We have no regrets, it was essential”. This preparation proved to be key for us not to get the car stuck in the sand of Castellon for the second special of the rally. “It really went well, insists Francis Laroche. We had fun and I believe the time is good at our level. We didn’t make any mistakes and even overtook 4 other cars whereas some “pros” were in trouble”.

The race for a place overall is far from being the team’s goal. On the contrary. This Dakar adventure is one of solidarity. Their motto: “One for all and all for one!

-aso-

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Series Dakar