“My life is all about preparing for the Dakar”
Olaf Harmsen is the only Dutch newcomer this year in the bike category. As a young boy, riding his offroad bicycle, he dreamed of riding the Dakar. Now the time has arrived to finally realise his dream. At the age of 25 Olaf started roadracing, together with his brother, in the Supersport 600 category. After about five years, he switched to Supermotards, where he got acquainted with sand for the first time. The next step was motocross, and this gave him the confidence to go for the Dakar.
“When I was young, riding the Dakar was more of a dream than reality. But when I started doing motocross, I felt the time had arrived to do my first rally. Together with Bart van der Velden of the Bas Dakar Team we made a plan. My plan was to do the Dakar in 2021, but Bart convinced me to go for it. After the Serres Rally in September 2018 and the Merzouga Rally in 2019, I qualified for the Dakar. Since Merzouga my life is all about preparing for the Dakar. Technically I’m not the best rider, but I do feel comfortable in the sand. Almost every day I work on my fitness. Motocross, mountainbiking, and the gym. Wesley van Veghel is my personal trainer, he also prepared Maikel Smits (26th in Dakar 2018) and thanks to him my riding skills have improved a lot. With a good finish in the Rallye du Maroc last October, I feel confident and ready for the Dakar.’’
BAS DAKAR KTM RACING TEAM
- Mark : KTM
- Model : 450 RALLY REPLICA
- Performance tuner : Bas Dakar Team
- Assistance : Bas Dakar Team
- Class : G2.1 Super production
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End of the road for Harmsen
Olaf Harmsen will not finish his first Dakar, or the third stage. The Dutchman, who has experience in track racing, superbikes and motocross, has suffered a severe fall following a jump after 122 km of the special. The medical team have transported him to the bivouac.
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