“The Dakar can make your heart break”
After a first attempt at the Dakar last year as part of Polish team Orlen, Australian Troy O'Connor returns for unfinished business. Indeed the 36-year-old was forced to pull out of the race during stage 5. For his second attempt, this hotel and pub owner from New South Wales will compete with his compatriot Mark Davidson who also dreams of finishing the event after failing twice. Ambitious after good performances at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge and Australasian Safari (8th) this season, Troy knows he has the level but just wants to get it done.
“I first filled in the entry form for the Dakar in 2012 but wasn't accepted. So I decided to do the Desert Challenge to get more experience. I used to play a lot of rugby league before and didn't have enough time to ride and compete. I even decided to go to South America in 2010 to see what the Dakar was like. For my first experience I was forced to pull out on day 5. A stone made a hole in my oil cooler. I stopped to try and fix but it was impossible. We were just before a fesh-fesh portion so it was impossible to get a tow. The Dakar can make your heart break. I was just a bit unlucky. The Dakar was what I expected it to be. I wasn't as long and tough as I had imagined. Now I have to get to the end and see what position I'm in. I want to finish what I started.”