What defines the true Dakar heroes?
Each and every day the TV broadcasts show us the spectacular sceneries, the ultimate challanges of the day, the manufacturers teams (hopefully still at the top) and we get to hear of the latest news of the rally, wins, casualities, results, and live photage from the bivouac. Once in a while we also get to a glimpse of an amateur. Often those pictures relate to the hard struggle they have come to meet. How many times haven´t we seen the late night shots of men and women in the desesert when sun has set hours ago, in the dark, sometimes in sand storms and alone. Still out there fighting the battle. Not to give in. Wait for the sun rise next morning, with the hope of making it to the next days stage, not excluded of the rally. If they make it on time, no one is there welcoming them, congratulating them or wishing them a good luck on the next stage. Pulling out there spareparts, changing the air filter, oil, tires and then, perhaps then put up their tent to get some sleep.
The Dakar rally is exceptional, one of a kind, in many ways. When it comes to the competitors, it´s open to anyone who is willing to pay the entrance fee. To live their dreams, no matter the outcome. Pro or privateer. The average amount of competitors reaching the finish in the competition is 40%. One year it was 21 %.
When looking at this years rally, one of the privateers to enter the race was Tamsin Jones. A Brittish motorcycle rider, who has been doing an incredible journey in the Dakar. With a determination like few. On stage 6 she was out on the special stage 7h 21min 04sec longer than top rider of that day. The length of a working day, longer. Reaching the bivouac after the ninth stage, yesterday as 92nd in the overall.
I vote in favour of you, Tamsin, a true hero of the 2010 Dakar rally.