Close shave for Vincent Biau
Dakar 2024 |
Stage 1 |
> AL HENAKIYAH
January 7 th 2024 - 07:00 [GMT + 3]
Vincent Biau is no stranger to off-road adventures, clocking up half the circumference of the Earth in his yearly escapades, but he thought his first Dakar was going to be over before the finish of the first special.
To be more specific, the rider of the Husqvarna 450 Rally Replica sporting race number 141 had a brief moment of panic when he thought his Saudi Arabian adventure was going to end after only 200 km, just after the first refuelling of the opening stage, which took a heavy toll on both men and machines. "I wasn't focused enough when I left the refuelling", recalls the young man from Aveyron. I blocked my front wheel, my bike went up in the air, and so did I." When he landed on the ground, his left shoulder popped out… "I felt it come out, but luckily it snapped back in quickly. It's an injury I know well, I’ve had about ten dislocations and I've already had surgery. I have a lot of hardware in my shoulder. But at that moment, I was really scared." This is Vincent's first ever Dakar. Well, as a participant, that is, because he has already experienced this event several times, since 2020, as a volunteer with one of the organisation's safety and support teams. "I saw my mates riding and they kept telling me: 'Come on, what are you waiting for? You're the only one missing!' I finally took the plunge." Vincent has been riding bikes since he was 4 years old. He got into rally raids about ten years ago, like many of his friends from Aveyron. "I've been doing one rally a year for all these years", he says. He spends the rest of his time travelling and racking up miles in Europe or Africa on his BMW GS. He also shares tips, organises riding camps and sets up raids with his partner to spread his passion for motorbike travel. His victory in the classification for riders without assistance crews in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge last year convinced him to take on the most legendary of rally raids. Of course, in the Original by Motul category. "I've always taken care of my own bikes, I couldn't imagine doing the Dakar any other way." So, when his shoulder came out of its socket in that crash after only 200 km of racing, he thought it was all going to come tumbling down. "I thought to myself that the Dakar couldn't end like that, so soon… So I clenched my butt and teeth to get back on the saddle. But I was tense, and by trying to protect myself I crashed another three or four times…" No damage done, fortunately. "I know it’s going to hurt tomorrow, but it should be fine… Castera warned us, and he meant it. The first day was the hardest race of my riding career. I don't dare to imagine what awaits us tomorrow… I hope that in two or three days the difficulty level will drop and we can take a breather. Castera needs to save the bikers."