The fear of getting hooked
January 3 rd 2020 - 11:42 [GMT + 3]
On his rear mud guard, there is a sticker: Mum and Dad. “Because they’re the best,” chuckles Pierre-Louis Le Bonniec. What’s more, they are probably the most fanatical supporters of the only rider from Brittany taking part in the Dakar 2020. However, this is not this young man’s only distinctive feature. Despite his young age, he insists that, “This will be my first and last Dakar, the story of my life, a real fireworks”. He has his reasons, as well as his head screwed on the right way: “I’ve got a family and a daughter, so I have to look after them. Looking back, I’ve had a rather average career as an enduro and motocross rider, so it’s time to turn the page. I just hope I’m not going to become hooked on this race... I can’t let it happen. What’s more, I’ve called on the help of so many people just to be here that I can’t see myself doing it again. I don’t want to be too selfish. I’ve got a house to finish building and professional responsibilities with my motorbike shop in Paimpol”. Before starting his new life, Pierre-Louis Le Bonniec has nonetheless decided to take on the summit of motorsport and it is a decision he has mulled over and prepared for the last two years. “After seven participations at the Le Touquet enduro race, I needed something more spectacular to finish off my career,” he explains. “I also wanted to feel the butterflies in my stomach again, the tingling in my legs… I wanted to ride the hardest race in the world so I grabbed the list and chose the one right at the very top”. Naturally, this meant the Dakar. “My dream is not to take part in the Dakar but to finish it,” he points out. To do this, the rider from Brittany can count on his training, his experience on sand and his measured approach: “Over the last two years, I’ve increased the amount of riding I do and I do sport every day. I recently took part in the Merzouga Rally to familiarise myself with navigation. I never got lost and I really enjoyed the experience. I prefer to ride at 25% of my capacity and ensure I reach the finish rather than speeding along only to find out that I have no idea where I am”. In the dunes of Saudi Arabia, Pierre-Louis le Bonniec should be able to improve his navigational skills, but hoping all the while that he does not develop too much of a taste for it.