A real beating
January 4 th 2021 - 10:00 [GMT + 3]
Pierre Cherpin, sitting in 93rd place after the first day, was put through the wringer in the opening stage. Four crashes, an airbag deployed, a motorbike that looks like it has just come out of a war zone… but he remains as cool as a cucumber.
There is no point in denying it. Pierre Cherpin was not expecting such a brutal start to his fourth Dakar. "I took a real beating", blurted out the entrepreneur from northern France at the finish of the first stage. A broken hand guard and a motorbike that has seen better days bear witness to his tale. "I crashed four times! One was really hard and my airbag even deployed as I flew through the air. I don't like stones and I'm scared of rocks. I'm more of a sand guy… So I took it easy from then on. I didn't even stop to change my mask after sunset because I didn't want to waste another five minutes." However, the biker who has finished two of his first three Dakar remains unfazed. "No big deal, it's just the bodywork, two or three things that need to be changed", he said confidently before heading to the bivouac. "I've only got a 35 km link sector left. I'm going to take it easy, patch up the motorbike, grab a bite and hit the sack. I did pretty bad today, but tomorrow's a new day. At any rate, this was a real stage, not a mere appetiser." The sailing and ski aficionado, who only recently started dabbling in motorbike racing, has always approached the race philosophically. "I'm here to live and adventure and explore the world, I'm not a great biker", he insists. "I admire the boys at the top. I honestly have no idea how they manage to ride so fast while going through the notes in the roadbook." Pierre Cherpin has put his helmet and gloves back on this morning. Ready for a new adventure.