“Struggling is fun”
For many reasons, Taye Perry will be one to watch in the bike race. Not only is she fun, smiles all the time, not only will she battle it out to become the first African woman to finish the Dakar on a bike, she’ll also be one of the smallest competitors in the history of the Dakar. But the fact she’s 1m58 certainly isn’t a concern for the South African “warrior” who started riding bikes from the age of 12. Part of the Nomade Racing team, she learnt to adapt to the big KTM 450 rally bike and intends on surprising the world on the paths and in the dunes of Saudi Arabia.
“My dad used to ride bikes before I even existed but then stopped. When I was 12 I asked to have a bike and so my dad started again and it would be our weekend outings. I gradually went from 80cc to 125 to 250 and now 450 bikes. It kept getting bigger and I wanted more. I know I might look a bit awkward on a bike and if I fall I have to use a lot more energy to get it back up. But I have worked on my own technique. Of course I look up to the top guys and Laia Sanz of course. It was also very interesting to meet Andrea Peterhansel (who rode the Dakar five times on a bike when it was in Africa) during the Morocco Rally. We can all do it. I think I had reached a plateau in racing on a national level winning the women’s national championship. My only option was to step outside of my country and race the Dakar. I proved in Morocco that I can compete. The goal is first to finish but I’m a competitor. My pace is my pace and going too slowly is not the good option. In the future I want to get into FIM rally racing and I need to prove myself on the Dakar. I love long distances, that’s where I perform the best. Of course I want to have fun and struggling is fun. Being the first African woman to finish would mean a lot but I don’t want to focus on that too much”.
- Mark : KTM
- Model : 450 RALLY REPLICA
- Performance tuner : Nomade Racing
- Assistance : Nomade Racing
- Class : G2.1 Super production
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