The name of his Facebook and Instagram pages says it all: Nuts4Dakar. Firstly because Gregory Stuart is a macadamia nut farmer in South Africa, but also because he’s “nuts” enough to do the Dakar… especially in the Original by Motul class. When he started to race bikes some twenty years ago, his ultimate goal was to one day do the Dakar. Invited to come and see the rally last year, it was obvious in his mind that he had to compete, seduced by the camaraderie between the bikers. After numerous extreme enduro rally races and a 33rd spot at the Merzouga Rally that allowed him to qualify for the next Dakar, the South African is as ready as ever to live his dream. Until then, and other than the physical training and riding in the dunes of Namibia, he also spends hours playing the Dakar game on Playstation with his kids… and that’s already quite a challenge!
“The Original class is for me the ultimate way of doing the Dakar, the hardest way. Also, when I was invited to the Dakar last year, I really liked the camaraderie between the bikers of the Original class. That visit last January was both the best thing and the worst one because I wanted to be on my bike with the guys. When I got back home, I started selling stuff to get funds for the Dakar. My whole focus this last year has been the Dakar. I eat, sleep, drink Dakar. The goal will be to finish and that will be like having climbed the Everest. I spoke a lot with former competitors like Joey Evans, Donovan Van Den Langenberg or Scott Britnell because I needed to know how to prepare. Being in Original, you can’t ride at 100%, you don’t have the luxury of having a mechanic. My main concern is crashing, but also the mechanical issues. My wife is worried of course but she is very supportive.”
He was ready and, above all, resolutely determined to take part in the race. Gregory Stuart oversees a macadamia nut plantation in South Africa, but his true passion is the Dakar, an event that has captivated him since he started riding a motorbike over two decades ago. This year, he decided to take the plunge. The tall, strapping lad made the challenge even harder by signing...
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