Afraid of the dark

January 10 th 2020 - 08:03 [GMT + 3]

Matthew Tisdall, taking part in his first Dakar, is discovering riding at night, and it is not an easy task for him.

This time, the sun had not completely sunken below the horizon when Matthew Tisdall handed in his clock-in card on the finish of the special between Al Ula and Ha’il. A pretty pink light was already settling on the surrounding dunes and, miraculously, the Australian had not had to navigate in the glow of his headlights. With a slightly wild look, the rider from Melbourne seemed more surprised then anyone else, even if his position, last but one, was hardly any better than the day before. “This morning, when I left the bivouac, there was just one think I was afraid of: finishing another stage at night,” he admits. “Yesterday, I was still in among the rocks at 10:00 pm, all alone… To be honest, it wasn’t much fun”. On tackling his first Dakar, he had not thought that the challenge would be as tough. The thing is, Matthew Tisdall has only been riding a bike since six years ago, when he caught the bug after crossing the route of the Dakar while travelling in South America. Since then, he has not stopped riding… “But the rallies that I’ve done up until now were much easier,” he says. Here, I can’t even start to describe it…” However, there is no question that he will throw in the towel. “I’d like it if there was more sand. Apparently, there will be next week, but I’ll have to ensure I make it to the finish each day until the rest day. For the moment, I’m just trying to hang on in there. I’m going to have to give it my all to get through the sixth day of racing which we’ve been told is very tough. But I’ve got the feeling that I’m not quick enough to finish before nightfall”. Out in the open, riding alone at night is exactly what Matthew Tisdall hates.

Follow us

Get exclusive information