Originally Posted by tehdutchie
This probably should go in 'Yo Momma' but imho Dakar has now officially lost its glory for me.
It seems more like a glorified offroad trip then anything else to me. The longest days was 5 hours riding for the top guys (the offroad part) and the all other days were finished in 3 and a half hours of dirt riding. The rest of their time was spent on tarmac.
Being three times slower then the top guys I might even make the next bivvy before sunset.
Local (Dutch) enduro riders that ran this years Dakar (first time entries) told me that they ran the course with 2 fingers in their noses (Dutch expression for 'easy') as they were expecting the worst. Turned out that they were taking it a little to easy every day being afraid of a course that didnt give them much hassle at all.
What percentage did finish this year? 60% or more?
Hell, I cant ride for $%^& but if it goes on like this even I might attempt a 2 week pleasure trip in SA. WiFi at the gasstations, wont need a roadbook or roadbook skills, just follow your GPS and off I go. Fill up on BBQ and Beers along the track, the odd empenada and a fresh tyre every 2nd day because of all the tarmac. Wont even need a fancy Dakar bike with roadbook tower, just give me that tiny GPS unit and a 24 liter front tank on an enduro and off I go.
Back to AFRICA and a sub 30% finish rate!
(no disrespect to the ones that did take on the challenge as I do know what people have had to endure to even make it to the start).
Did your friends finish ?
I dont think the terrain was any harder in Africa, in fact by all accounts all the experienced riders said the terrain this year was the hardest its ever been. Time on stage hasn't changed much....
So what has changed? Longer sunlight hours in SA compared to Africa certainly makes it "easier". Liaisons are certainly easier.
From what I have seen the folks who finish with a clean run all think it may have been a bit easy but they all also comment on how demanding it was mentally and physically.
The attrition rate doesn't usually come from the terrain being too difficult, it comes from people having issues. Be those issues lack of rider skill, mechanical's, accidents and or health issues. In this manner I don't see how the race has changed much.
I also asked myself why the attrition rate was lower than normal this year. Certainly the bulk of the field being on factory produced bikes contributes. Certainly the riders being much more prepared than in the past contributes.
What I would like to see next year
- A 21 day race
- No more sleeping outside of the bivouac for racers
Your statements are pretty bold I think. The Dakar is a distance race, its not meant to be a hard enduro. The total distance hasn't changed in the last few years, the specials in a few spots got shorter in distance (race is evolving whether we like it or not) but those stages were by all accounts said to be some of the toughest and looking at stage times the riders didn't look short changed.
The sub 30 rate you mentioned was a fluke and not the norm in Africa. The ASO try very hard to control the attrition rate I believe. If it was too large people would be scared off from entering. Too small of an attrition rate and it loses its challenge. Its a fine line and one I am sure gets a lot of attention by the organizers. Creating a race that is freaking hard to finish but not impossible is no easy task
I look forward to seeing your wooden dutch shoes on the podium one of these years