Simon Marčič, coasting along

January 8 th 2021 - 13:08 [GMT + 3]

A regular on the Dakar and on the list of major mishaps, the Slovenian rider has had an eventful rally since the start in Jeddah, complete with delays, cuts and bruises…

during the Dakar 2021’s Prologue and start podium ceremony in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on January 2, 2021 - Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI
during the Dakar 2021’s Prologue and start podium ceremony in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on January 2, 2021 - Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI © Florent Gooden / DPPI
during the 3rd stage of the Dakar 2021 between Wadi Al Dawasir and Wadi Al Dawasir, in Saudi Arabia on January 5, 2021 - Photo Frédéric Le Floc’h / DPPI
during the 3rd stage of the Dakar 2021 between Wadi Al Dawasir and Wadi Al Dawasir, in Saudi Arabia on January 5, 2021 - Photo Frédéric Le Floc’h / DPPI © Frédéric Le Floc’h / DPPI

 In all circumstances, Simon Marčič never lets his smile slip. Since his first participation on the Dakar, he has encountered almost all the incidents he could imagine, with a capacity to accumulate, tackle and overcome them that beggars belief. The 2016 edition is probably his most heroic vintage, on which he enrolled for the first time in the unassisted bikers’ category and commenced his journey through Argentina with a dislocated shoulder and broken thumb on the 3rd stage after a nasty fall: “From that point onwards, I gritted my teeth and hung in there, but I didn’t stop having problems and finished last virtually every day, in a lot of pain,” he remembers wistfully, but also with pride. At the bivouac in Al Qaisumah, the 2019 Slovenian enduro champion is drawing greater enjoyment from his 7th Dakar and especially appreciated stage 5, on which many competitors generally suffered to reach the finish. “This special had everything, starting with lots of rocks and then I got the feeling that the chains of dunes were never going to finish,” he says, almost forgetting that he once again encountered several problems. “I started the stage with my back wheel making strange noises and the tyre shredded completely on the final link route. It took me one hour and a half to cover the last fifty kilometres”. This mishap required an hour of repairs on return to the bivouac, but his current biggest regret lies elsewhere: “This year, I was aiming for a good result in the Original by Motul category, but I had a nasty fall in the camel grass on stage 2 and I’ve been suffering with a sore neck ever since, so at the moment I’m in 48th position although I would like to be nearer 30th place”. Despite all that, you are never likely to hear this eternal optimist complaining. He is delighted to be continuing the race at a pace he reckons is almost comfortable: “Beforehand, I only slept three or four hours per night on the Dakar, but since the start, I’ve been getting between six and seven hours’ sleep!”

during the Dakar 2021’s Prologue and start podium ceremony in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on January 2, 2021 - Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI
during the Dakar 2021’s Prologue and start podium ceremony in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on January 2, 2021 - Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI © Florent Gooden / DPPI

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