Sunday 28 November at 11 am (Paris time) - Presentation of the 2022 Dakar
N°53 Bike PODMOL DAKAR TEAM
driver
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LIBOR PODMOL

(cze) 1.72m / 62kg

Hobbies

Life, bikes, family

Sponsors

Podmolbrothers, Mercedes-Benz, H-mechanik, Motorex, Chicken.cz, Osicka MX team, Ecolifts, Betonarka Kacov, Husqvarna, Bonmoto, MXgrafix, Slimgrafix

First participation

2020: Greece Rally (3rd), Andalucia Rally (3rd, Rally 2 class)
2016: X Games Austin (1st, MTX Step Up)
2013: X Games Munich (1st, MTX Step Up)
2010: FIM Freestyle Motocross world championship (1st)

10 x FIM world championships medallist
8 x X-Games medallist

Interview

“My bike will be the only one to have done a backflip!”

Libor Podmol is preparing for a dramatic change of pace as he discovers the Dakar in 2021. The 36-year-old is a freestyle motocross superstar, and has spent the past 15 years jumping, twisting and backflipping his way into the record books. FIM FMX world champion in 2010, he has also taken six silver and three bronze medals at the worlds, most recently in 2018. In 2013, he also became the first non-American to win a Step Up gold medal at the X Games. He has a total of eight X Games medals in his glittering collection, including another gold from 2016. The Czech star is now preparing to ramp up the speed by several notches as he makes his debut on the world's toughest rally. He has only taken part in two rally raid events to date, but belied his inexperience with impressive podium spots at the Greece Rally and the Andalucia Rally (in the secondary bikes class). Libor is riding with his own team, although he has been training in recent months with his friend and compatriot Jan Brabec, who has completed the Dakar on three occasions. He might have made his debut even earlier were it not for a terrible crash in Munich in April 2019, which resulted in two broken legs and over a year off the bike. Now that he has recovered, he is determined to bring the name 'Podmol' to the finish line. His father, who sadly died in the late 1990s, took part in Dakar 1994 but didn't manage to go all the way. Libor has also chronicled his adventures in a series of published books, to preserve the memories of his remarkable achievements and inspire the next generation. He is also the protagonist of the Martin Privratsky documentary film 'Tomorrow Will Be Better', charting his rise from talented hopeful to FMX world champion. A larger-than-life character, Libor has spent his career defying gravity -but now he's keeping his feet planted firmly on the ground as he looks to enjoy a memorable maiden Dakar.

“I believe my bike will be the only bike in the field to have done a backflip! I was already thinking about the Dakar in 2016. I went out to La Paz for a week to see how it all worked. And I said, 'next time I come here, I'll be riding'. That was just talk, but by the end of 2018 I decided I really wanted to do at least one Dakar. I was thinking, 2019 will be my last motocross freestyle season, so I can start mixing freestyle and rally. Then at one of the first events in April I broke both legs, two days before we did a press release about Dakar. That pretty much f***ed everything. The injury was not so good. I've still got 43 screws in my legs. So I decided to put freestyle to one side and get ready for rally. I'm a racer, so of course I want to go as fast as I can. I'm training hard and putting my money into it, I see it as my main focus to be good on Dakar. But I also have a lot of respect for everyone there, for the track, for the rally in general, so the main thing is to finish. That's the main goal, and it's very important in the first year. I'm probably the first freestyler on the rally scene, so I'm representing the whole sport of freestyle. For the last 15 years I've been going slow, trying to make tricks and flips, staying in low gears. So recently I've been cruising around on my motorcycle trying to get that speed back into my blood, because I've been going slow all my life! When I don't think too much and just ride, then it's similar to freestyle. In freestyle, a run lasts for like two minutes. I get the same rush when I go fast in rally, except that it takes two hours. That absolute concentration is something I learnt in FMX that I can bring to rally. I'm putting in so much effort, I want to do well.
Jan Brabec and I have known each other for a very long time. We used to battle for the Czech motocross title in 125cc. He won and I was second. We didn't get to see each other very often over the past decade, so it's cool to rediscover the friendship. Martin Michek is probably the best Czech rider. I wrote my books to have the memories. When we did the movie, I thought, I'm going to remember that year very well. I just released my third book. I like to keep hold of the stories. If I hadn't written them down, I'd have forgotten a lot of things. It's also for the next generation, for my kids. They can say that Daddy was a cool guy when he was young! I have a son who's nine and a daughter who's six, so they're kind of getting to the age where they understand. They can ride bikes, we go riding around the house, on a little track in the garden or in the forest.”

Vehicle

PODMOL DAKAR TEAM

  • Mark : HUSQVARNA
  • Model : FR 450 RALLY
  • Performance tuner : Podmol Dakar Team
  • Assistance : Podmol Dakar Team
  • Class : G2.1 Super production

Ranking 2021

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