Some bikers plan the Dakar for years. Carefully prepare everything into the last details. Not for Mark Tielemans. He entered the Dakar only last minute. Not that the Dakar is new to him. He did two Dakars as a mechanic, plus the Merzouga and Serres Rally. He knows what is required to make it to the finish. The BAS Dakar Team started as a group of friends wanting to do the Dakar. Sjors van Heertum was one of them. He was looking for a new challenge, and decided to go as a Motul Originals rider. He asked Tielemans if he would be willing to join him in the class where help is not allowed, only from another rider. That was last September, and so Tielemans needed to qualify in the Rallye du Maroc. Now he is preparing in a couple of weeks basically for his first Dakar.
M.T.: “BAS Dakar Team asked me to come as a mechanic to the Dakar again, but I started my own business six months ago, modifying dumper trucks for tarmac, and so I have enough work to do. But when Sjors van Heertum decided to do the Dakar without support in the Original by Motul class, and asked me to join him, it was a different story. Together with another experienced Dakar rider, Marcel Snijders, we will help each other where we can. Maintaining a bike is not so difficult, but really repairing stuff after a big crash is something different, if you’re not a mechanic. That’s where my skills come in handy. During the day I can do my own thing, once we arrive in the bivouac we will work together to stay in the race. How great would it be to make it to the finish all together.”
SJORS VAN HERTUM
Arnold Brucy distinguished himself on stage 7 with his first victory in the Original by Motul category, 2 minutes ahead of Edwin Straver. In the general standings, Mark Tielemans still has a solid lead, with a 48-minute advantage over Straver.
Mark Tielemans still leads the Original by Motul category after winning yesterday's stage by 35 minutes over Emanuel Gyenes. Meanwhile, Anastasia Nifontova is on track to achieve her objective of becoming the first woman to finish the Dakar without assistance.
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