Dusts, frights, doubts and problems...

Meet the Dakar Heroes

At the end of the rope

Michael Jacobi is about to wrap up his first Dakar with a broken right shoulder. Not even getting injured on the second day of racing could blunt his determination.


In the Van Loon saga, every end is a new beginning

In the Van Loon family, Erik has decided to take his final bow in the Dakar after his thirteenth participation, but he will be back to follow the exploits of his wife, Anja, who hopes to enter the next edition in a truck after racing in the T3 category this time round.

 Sharing is caring

After switching from motorbikes to SSVs with a Polaris and the Sébastien Loeb Racing team, Xavier de Soultrait is discovering the safety and joys of sharing the adventure with his co-driver, Martin Bonnet.


 Through gritted teeth

 Mathieu Troquier is unlikely to forget his first Dakar. Since the eighth day of racing, the Frenchman has been riding his KTM with a broken foot, obliging him to move around using crutches once he gets off his bike…  


 When the Dakar takes on a Chinese accent

 The six Chinese riders enrolled on the Dakar in 2023 are still in the race with four days to go. The three most experienced are in the Joyride team, benefitting from the precious advice of former biker Armand Monleon.


A sore boar charges on

Jean-Luc Ceccaldi-Pisson dreamed of a podium spot in Dammam, but he will have to settle for a finisher's medal in the best-case scenario. It may not be the result that he had hoped for, but the difficulties of the 45th Dakar and a slew of mechanical problems mean that he and his co-driver, Cédric Duplé, would be more than satisfied with that outcome.


 The fuel of love

 Nicolás Cavigliasso and Valentina Pertegarini in the SSV category plus Jacobine and Kees Kamp in the Dakar Classic are some of the married couples who enjoy the Dakar as a romantic and quite unique experience…


He has seen it all…

An icon of the rally, Franco Picco is competing in his 17th Dakar this year. At 67 years of age, the Italian hasn't lost his knack behind the handlebars nor his passion for an event in whose history he has participated for 37 years.

 David Gaits: "A fresh change of underwear and off we go"

It is an unusual scenario for the bikers, who are not racing today but still face a 500 km commute. David Gaits retains his sunny disposition.


 The country with three million fans of the Dakar

Lithuania has been captivated by the Dakar, recently due to the performances of young Rokas Baciuška, but also since 2002 due to the adventures of Gintas Petrus, one of the pionners of the movement. The businessman from Vilnius details his twenty years on the Dakar.


 A thirst for adventure

At 55 years of age, James Pearson is participating in his first Dakar. It is a new experience for this American rider who has been travelling the world for over two years to quench his thirst for adventure and competition.  


Old-fashioned mishaps and miracles in the desert

Christophe d'Indy and François-Xavier Bourgois are giving a second chance to a Peugeot 504 that did not fare well in its first Dakar Classic last year. This time, luck seems to be on their side, and they are both enjoying themselves.


 A flurry of memories

The bivouac in Ha’il was disfigured by the rain that poured down yesterday. For the bikers who arrived feeling freezing cold, they had to look for solutions to warm up.


 The survivors of the third stage

Matthieu Dovèze, Jean-Loup Lepan and Neels Theric were among the last riders to reach the finishing line of the special before the race was neutralised at CP3. Soaked but happy, the three bikers did not deny themselves the pleasure of the final few kilometres of a stage that will live long in the memory.



 The writing is on the wall for Przygoński


 Having taken eleven hours to complete the second stage of the 45th edition of the Dakar, Jakub Przygoński saw his dreams of a podium finish crushed even before arrival in AlUla, though the Polish driver is not the only person to have suffered such bad luck.


Should I stay or should I go?


Dakar rookie Lois d'Abbadie is caught in a nightmare scenario after a crash that threatens to knock him out of the race. His broken collarbone is torturing him, but perhaps he can clench his teeth through it all.


Going the distance together


Sporting race numbers 108 and 109, Julien Barthélémy and Kevin Durand vowed to cross the finish line of the Dakar arm in arm. After a failed attempt last year, they are determined to make it happen this time round.

 Dakar Bolognaise



Young Italians Rebecca Busi and Giulia Maroni entered the Dakar Classic race in 2022 before joining forces this year for their first big Dakar challenge in an SSV.


 Harking back to Africa


Nineteenth in the prologue, Charan Moore stood out from the crowd even before the start of the inaugural stage of the rally. Ross Branch's disciple is brimming with enthusiasm and determined to make the most of his second Dakar.


 From TT racing to the Dakar


James Hillier, the first winner of the Tourist Trophy to enter the Dakar, hopes his road racing experience will assist his risk calculus and help him make it to the finish.

 Be the tortoise, not the hare


Carlos Checa wants his second Dakar to be a fun learning experience, but the former Superbike world champion will need to curb his enthusiasm to make it so.


A great Dane ?


On Saturday, Thomas Kongshøj will become the second Danish rider to take starter’s orders on the Dakar, 12 years after Jes Munk.  

 All or nothing with Enrico


Out of the five Dakar rallies in which he has taken part, Giovanni Enrico has only completed one. It was two years ago when he climbed onto the second step of the podium.

 “Let’s not forget: the Dakar is meant to be difficult”


Though the Dakar may well boast a plethora of legends, few of them can boast to have taken part twenty times in the most mythical of rally-raids. In a few days’ time, this will be the case for Christian Lavieille.

Dakar portraits

Les Portraits du Dakar - Mathieu Baumel - Étape 1 - #Dakar2023
Les Portraits du Dakar - Stephane Peterhansel - #Dakar2023
... and forget his door / ... et oublie sa portière - Étape 3 / Stage 3 - #Dakar2023
Dakar Portraits - Discover James Hillier - #Dakar2023
Dakar Portraits - Discover Cristina Gutierrez - #Dakar2023
Dakar Portraits - Adrien Van Beveren - #Dakar2023
Dakar Portraits - The Koloc sisters - #Dakar2023
Dakar Portraits - Guerlain Chicherit - #Dakar2023
Dakar Portraits : American Rally Originals - #Dakar2023
Les Portraits du Dakar - Rokas Baciuska - #Dakar2023
Dakar Portraits: Kove Rally Team - #Dakar2023
Dakar Portraits: Erik Goczal - #Dakar2023
Dakar Portraits: Landman - #Dakar2023
Dakar Portraits: Panagiotis couple - #Dakar2023
Dakar Portraits: Pau Navarro - #Dakar2023
Dakar Portraits: Michael Docherty - #Dakar2023