Dakar: Face to Face, day nine

Face to Face The Dakar Magazine January 8, 2005 Everyday feelings of those who are not specially famous but who dare the challenge and give a dream for those who stay behind... Ludivine Puy - Euromaster - 035 "The survival instinct takes ...

Face to Face
The Dakar Magazine
January 8, 2005

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

Ludivine Puy - Euromaster - 035

"The survival instinct takes control!"

Main attraction of the event, Ludivine Puy, 21 years old, has proved during the hardest stage from Zouerat to Tichit that she was more than a pretty blond girl who came on the rally with her personal security corp.

Arrived in Tichit at 6.30 PM on Friday, she spent almost 34 hours on the track. While a lot of riders remained in the sand for good, but not Ludivine. When she heard after waking up at the CP1, that she was still in the race, she found extra motivation in her mind. " I'll never forget this stage. It made me discover new things about myself. Some unknown power. Very few people have the opportunity to live these kind of things".

The 2004 winner of the woman French enduro championship talked about her adventure on the special: "At 7 PM, I was still stopped in the dunes just before CP1. Alone. I stayed there for almost 3 hours, so I began having a nervous breakdown. I couldn't even think at all. And then, suddenly, the survival instinct took control of the body. You're thirsty, hungry, tired, scared... but you forget it all, because you know the only way is to dig... I took the screen off my helmets to dig the sand under my wheels more efficiently and at least I could move the bike, then restarted and followed the car tracks. My battery went flat just before CP1, where I slept with four other competitors in a small tent for three. I was very cold because my jacket was wet. I cried all night, because I thought the race was over for me. But when I woke up someone told me that we were still in race and we had to make it to Tichit then Tidjikja on a liaison. It was what I needed to get my motivation back. With another rider, we rode as a bunch the 450 km to Tichit. Our only stops were to give gas to other riders".

Happy as never, the young police woman, who started biking at 4, wasn't able to stop talking about this horrible stage: "I'm so glad to be here! Now my only goal is to join the whole Euromaster team in Tidjikja. To compete on the Dakar Rally is my oldest dream and this year I had the chance to do it in very good conditions. My teammates are wonderful with me. They have a huge experience and every eve my bike is repaired by the assistance. You can't dream of a better situation. Even, the event is harder than I was thinking". Especially because she can't keep her bike up alone, because of a shoulder operated a few weeks before the start. "But the Dakar deserves to be lived. If I'm doing this race it's first of all to be proud of myself and get more self confidence. A Dakar is worth ten years of enduro, it's priceless. But our main goal now is to get all four members of the team on the podium in Dakar."

First ever woman to achieve the 'Rallye des Gazelles' on a bike, Ludivine wants to become the youngest girl to finish a Dakar. And for that, she can trust her three new "daddies" because it's their main goal too.

Philippe Jacquot - Lur "O" Dakar - 529

"The next Dakar Rally with Vatanen in our truck!"

Some people say that the Dakar spirit no longer exists. The solidarity and generosity that makes the Dakar such a fantastic human adventure remains. And it was again proved during this edition thanks to the Lur O Dakar Team. With two trucks in their team, Philippe Jacquot and Daniel Prunier, the two drivers, have been the good Samaritans of the rally. A role they're used to have.

Last year already, for his third participation, Philippe Jacquot was the first one to give a chance to a women crew in the truck race, with on board Veronique, Philippe's wife, Geraldine Brucy, the wife of the rider Jean and Uta Baier. During the entire rally, Philippe stayed behind the women with his own truck to bring them "as far as possible". Finally the truck made it to Dakar and finished the rally ahead of the men's truck !

This year, without enough sponsors, the women failed to start. So, Philippe is driving for his own ambition and those of his teammates, Jacky Maillot and Pierre Eloy. Well not really actually, because, as every year, under the initiative of 'the doctor', Jacky Maillot, the three Frenchmen will be delivering in Dakar 30.000 € worth of medicine and clothes. And, as that wasn't enough, they proved once again their fantastic generosity in the terrible stage to Tichit.

Without a drop of gas left 98 km from the finish line while they were 6th of the stage, the Jacquot crew decided to set up their tent at midnight and get some rest. At 11h00 on the following morning appeared Daniel Prunier's truck, towing Nissan. To their great surprise, they saw four-time winner of the Rally Ari Vatanen behind the steering wheel of the Pickup! Daniel Prunier and "the Flying Finn" stopped to give gas to the Jacquot truck, before carrying on to Tichit. But 70 km later, once again out of gas, they had to stop and await the organisation's fuel tanks. At last, they arrived in Tichit at 18h30 PM. After more than 30 hours on the track !

According to Philippe Jacquot, there's a moral to this story: "Next year, Ari doesn't have the choice, he has to come with us in the truck. We've proved that the truck category is not only for those who destroy the track and lift dust for the others. We're the coolest on the piste, always ready to give a helping hand. And with all the competitors and all the categories." A wonderful spirit noted by Vatanen himself: "Those guys are fantastic! What a spirit, what generosity! They didn't think twice before stopping to tow me".

Indeed the European MP could thank the two crews of Brittany. Without them, he would have given up. Although all chances to finish in good position have vanished, the race still goes on for Philippe Jacquot and his mate.

-aso-

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Ari Vatanen , Philippe Jacquot , Uta Baier