Motorbikes have been Maciej Berdysz's passion for as long as he can remember. Born in Poland, the 42-year-old began riding as a child, and continued to do so after moving to England at the age of 20. After many years dabbling with motocross and enduro, he decided to try his hand at cross-country and entered the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge in 2014. After finishing in 19th place he also went to the Qatar Cross-Country Rally a few weeks later, and came 10th in spite of a heavy crash. Those experiences were enough to convince him to take part in the Dakar, although his maiden participation in 2015 ended on just the second day due to mechanical failure. Undeterred, Maciej returned a year later to finish fifth in the Malle Moto class and 65th overall. While 2017 followed a similar pattern to 2015 - with retirement on the second stage - Maciej returns in 2018, looking to secure a prestigious victory in the newly branded 'Original' class.
“I like to work hard and train hard. I get up at 5am every day, exercise and then go to work. I train at a local motocross track during the week and race every weekend. I like it when the going gets tough, so the Original class is perfect for me. You only get to sleep an average of three hours a night, which has an impact on how you ride. You have to ride to 70 per cent of your ability so that you have 30 per cent left to work on your bike in the evening. And you have to prepare yourself psychologically for the fact that on one or two nights, you won't sleep at all. But I love it. I love to push myself and see what I'm capable of."
Get exclusive information about the Dakar