Family and friends, Parrot Surf & Skate Shop, Mex 1, Stokes Mazda, Island Coastal Lager, Electric, Yetty sport, Rykobito, Callipso, Fly racing, Detyens Shipyards Inc.
For Petr Angelo Vlcek and the Dakar, it was love at first sight. Four years ago, he went to Buenos Aires to see his friend Ondrej Klymciw finish Dakar 2015, and it was immediately clear: this was something he had to be a part of. After two years working with Ondrej and learning the ins and outs of offroad racing, the Pardubice native was ready for the adventure of a lifetime, and successfully made it to the finish line of his maiden Dakar in 68th place. Last year, with greater experience and better weather conditions, he improved to an impressive 47th. Born in the Czech Republic, Petr Angelo went to the United States for a six-month trip in the 1990s and ended up staying for 21 years. A fan of adventure and extreme sports, he soon got into surfing and snowboarding, going on to set up the Parrot Surf & Skate Shop in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Grateful for the entrepreneurial opportunities life in America has afforded him, the 43-year-old now hopes to see rally raid enjoy greater popularity in his adopted country, so that like him, plenty of others can be bitten by the 'Dakar bug'.
“In 2015 I went to South America and met Ondrej at the end of the Dakar -and I just got this feeing, like I'd give my left nut to race it one year! I thought when I got home it would leave my head but it didn't, so I hired a personal trainer and started riding offroad. You have no idea what it takes. With help from Ondrej and friends I did the Dakar in 2017. It was definitely a gruelling one: crossing the Andes, snow on the ground, lots of rain and bad weather. Pretty brutal. I don't think I've ever frozen to the bone that much.” “The first year it was my dream just to go, then last year I wanted to be in the top 50. This year I'd like to be around 40th. It's a shorter rally so it's going to be much tougher to move up, physical endurance and consistency will become an issue. I have to come back in one piece because I have a family and a business! Everyone has a safety net, and I do ride a little more conservatively, but when you sit on the bike and twist the throttle you sometimes forget that. Last year, I crashed three kilometres from the finish line, like an idiot. You never know when it comes. You have to be 100 per cent alert the whole race – that's Dakar.”
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