Discover the stories of the Dakar's heroes Inside the Bivouac
N°79 Bike PODMOL DAKAR TEAM
driver
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LIBOR PODMOL

(cze) 1.72m / 62kg

Hobbies

Life, bikes, family

Sponsors

@podmolbrothers, @gaiasuperfood, @motorexcz, @goprocz, @mitasmoto, @coffeespot.cz, @betonkacov, @osickamxteam, @smell_of_life_official, @feshfesh.group, @mxgrafixcz, @mtz_mototechnika, @motopalic, @motozem.cz, @slimgrafix, @koucinkcentrum, @nanotech_europe, @motogbox

2021: 31st

2022: Dinaric Rally (2nd)
2020: Greece Rally (3rd), Andalucia Rally (3rd, Rally2 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

Books: Libor Podmol's Diary, Libor Podmol's Diary 2, My Journey to the Dakar, 13 Days of Dakar Hell
Films: 'Tomorrow Will Be Better', 'The Road is the Goal', 'Life is the Goal'

Interview

“I'll have to be careful not to break the bike!”

After getting his first taste of the Dakar in 2021, Libor Podmol returns to the world's toughest rally in 2023. The 38-year-old Czech has made a name for himself as one of the biggest stars in freestyle motocross, securing the FIM FMX world championship title in 2010. He has also won two X-Games gold medals, becoming the first non-American to do so in the MTX Step Up class in 2013. Having spent most of his career doing two-minute runs in low gears -to perfect his spectacular flips and tricks- Libor had a real change of scenery when he discovered the Dakar two years ago. The idea of competing first came to him in 2016, and he might have lined up earlier were it not for a terrible crash at a freestyle motocross event in Munich in April 2019, which resulted in two broken legs and a lengthy rehabilitation. But even if he did his maiden Dakar with 43 screws in his legs, he still managed to bring his bike home in 31st place overall. Completing the rally had particular significance for Libor; his father failed to make it through Dakar 1994 and died four years later, so his son was delighted to finally get the Podmol name onto the finishing podium. Having skipped Dakar 2022 due to fatigue and some health issues, Libor is returning with a bang in the assistance-free Original by Motul class. In recent months he's been working hard on fitness and has picked up some valuable tips on servicing his bike. Even if he's only done one race this year, he's confident he can do a good job in Original by Motul, where he'll be joined by Czech rally-raid legend David Pabiska. He has also arranged to get some help from the Fesh Fesh team, run by fellow Ostrava native Tomas Vratny. A talented all-rounder who has featured in several films and published four books, Libor is determined to write another memorable chapter of his Dakar story in this 45th edition.


“Physically I feel good. For the past three months I've been training with a professional coach, Karel Kolpek. I've been doing balancing exercises and taking cold baths in the morning, which I'd never done before. I still have about 35 screws in my legs. The doctors will try to get them out after the Dakar. I've already had one operation this year, but it's still not right, I can't run very well. I've also been learning about servicing from Pavel Bartunek, who's been doing the Dakar for the last decade with the Orion-Moto Racing Group team. We worked together before my freestyle career. I've been riding bikes for 20 years, so I know my way around them, but this is the Dakar. Something serious can always happen in the middle of the desert. I didn't have the opportunity to train much for the rally, this year I only did the Dinaric Rally. However, I can still aim high in my category. I don't just want to finish, I'm still an athlete and competitor. I'll just have to be careful not to break the bike unnecessarily. The first time I rode the Dakar, I went flying over the handlebars on the first stage and broke my navigation tower. At 2am I was being treated for concussion while the mechanic was fixing the electronics. I don't want to do that again. I have experience from my first Dakar. I'd like to avoid mistakes and crashes. I want to take it easy in the first stages, get to know the bike a little bit. And then depending on how things go, maybe I'll up the tempo. It'll be hard to beat 31st place from 2021, because I'm competing without a mechanic or any assistance. But I'd like to be high in Original by Motul. There's a good atmosphere in this class. I'll definitely get some advice from the experienced Dakar rider David Pabiska, who's also riding unassisted. I'm looking forward to it, even though it's hard to fall asleep in the bivouac. Someone's always fixing something, so it's noisy until the morning. You need good headphones!”

Vehicle

PODMOL DAKAR TEAM

HUSQVARNA 450 RALLY
PODMOL DAKAR TEAM

  • HUSQVARNA
  • 450 RALLY
  • Podmol Dakar Team
  • Original by Motul
  • Rally 2

Ranking 2023

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