Discover the stories of the Dakar's heroes Inside the Bivouac

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

Dakar 2023 | Stage 7 | RIYADH > AL DUWADIMI
January 7 th 2023 - 13:23 [GMT + 3]

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.

© Magnus Torquato

David Gaits does not beat around the bush. The name of his team, "Happyness Racing", speaks volumes about his frame of mind and that of most of the field in the Original by Motul category. The rugged terrain and harsh climate that have turned the screws on the bikers of the Dakar since the race started from the Sea Camp have failed to dampen their mood: "If you sign up for the Dakar, it's because you're looking for an adventure… No-one's making you come here, so quit whining. My golden rule is staying positive, focused and on my bike".

After the stage 7 special was cancelled for the motorbikes and quads, the rider from Bayonne is about to tackle the road section that will take him to the bivouac in Ad-Duwadimi, nearly 500 kilometres away. It is going to be a long day, not least because the incentive of the competition is not there, but once again, David takes this little mission philosophically: "To cover so many kilometres, you just need to be psyched up. If you're told to go to Brittany with your wife and children, you do it because you're prepared for it. The same goes for this adventure". The trek to the water-soaked marathon bivouac is not without its challenges for man and machine, but he remains undaunted. "If we're not feeling cold before the start, it'll be okay. 500 kilometres isn't too hard as long as it's not raining, but you have to stay focused all the same. I slept well, changed my tyres, serviced the bike and checked an air filter. A fresh change of underwear and off we go." Now that will keep a smile on his face!

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