If you’re a bit of a petrol-head like some of us are in the iLivExtreme extreme sports magazine cave then you’ve probably downed tools and secreted yourself away somewhere to watch the toughest rally on earth, uninterrupted – The Dakar Rally 2013. So far, you’ll have watched the Red Bull-Sponsored truck and bike teams cruise on in to win.
Frenchman and off-road motorcycle rider Cyril Despres, (who competed in his first Enduro race in 1998 and became French enduro champion the same year) battled his way through the early stages of the 2013 event, in which buggy, bike, quad and lorry drivers took on 8,500 kilometres of harsh terrain in South America. Despres managed to claim his fifth Dakar victory since he began competing in the race in 2005. He told us that when he first entered the Dakar Rally, he only just managed to scrape together the entry fee by selling 6,000 bottles of wine.. Wowzer, quite a feat and how fittingly French. This year, riding a KTM, he gained his second consecutive win in the rally, despite suffering a penalty after he was forced to change engines mid-way through the race.
Team KAMAZ’s Eduard Nikolaev saw similar success in Dakar 2013, fending off all competition to win the truck category by more than 37 minutes. His victory was doubly special, as he is the first truck driver in the race’s history to win the competition without taking first place in any individual stages. The Russian, whose career began as a mechanic, was joined by teammates Ayrat Mardeev in second place and Andrey Karginov in third.
Commenting on the win, Nikolaev claimed the full weight of the extraordinary feat has yet to sink in.
“All I have been concentrated on since we arrived in South America was fighting minute by minute over every kilometre I drove in our truck. To come out of that after such an intense fifteen days with the victory is something that I simply can’t put into words. It’s simply incredible and I’m on cloud nine right now,” – he said.
Check out the Red Bull website for even more Dakar Rally 2013 goodness.