Dakar 2013 - Official Event Coverage - thank you ALL TeamF5, lurkers and posters!

Discussion in 'Racing' started by doyle, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. Bluebull2007

    Bluebull2007 Adventurer

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    I am also beginning to feel that the Dakar is losing something because the stages definitely were not as long as in previous editions. The diifficulty level was not as hard either I dont think. Look at how many riders could not finish Stage 3 of 2009's Dakar for example. The liaisons were also largely shorter.

    Look at what Casseli said:
    The biggest surprise to me was how similar the actual racing is to Southern California desert racing. I felt like I was racing a National Hare and Hound everyday with some Baja roads mixed in. I was really comfortable with the terrain and different types of speeds we were going through.

    Thats not really what I thought the Dakar was supposed to be...

    Anyway if youre keen for something new and more in line with the Dakar of old is the development of this race over the next couple of years. :deal At the moment the five day rally was reduced to only 3 days (the guys doing it need more sponsorship to make it a full time occupation) but its growing in popularity fast and permits larger bikes as well.
  2. tehdutchie

    tehdutchie Long timer

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    Watch the Australasian too, although only a week for the moment but how about the Africa Eco Race, wont be long before Husky factory riders will be heading there and the KTM boys to the Dakar (new management, new rules :rofl).

    Divide and conquer!! :lol3
  3. Y E T I

    Y E T I Unpossible

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    What??!!

    :lurk
  4. neduro

    neduro Addict Super Moderator

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    OK, hopefully today! Sorry to be a tease, gotta get one more piece in place before going public!

    To me, the short stages are the big issue. I don't mind that it's more or less technical than Africa, but I do mind that the top riders are in camp at noon. It totally changes the dynamics of the race, bikes that get rebuilt from the frame every night, riders that get more hours to recover, and the pace escalates from endurance to enduro, so to speak.

    But that's not going to change so long as the primary TV market is 5-6 hours earlier in the day. They have to be able to make the news, and that means Cyril is getting a massage at 1:00 PM.
  5. frostyuk

    frostyuk Been here awhile

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    :eek1

    spoke to craig earlier today he's got 4 and a half months in a neck brace and he's got a very weak left arm (he cant open a packet of crisps/chips with it at the moment)

    he apparently padded up his neck brace while he was riding to support his head and neck:eek1
  6. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity

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    Good he's functional, hopefully it all comes back.
  7. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

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    I am of two minds about this. IF the stages were longer (distance is somewhat irrelevant it is time that is of the concern in my example) and the top guys got in around dinner time (say 6 pm) instead of mid afternoon....what would this do to the rest of the field. As it is a mid pack racer having a clean run gets in around 6pm on average. Add 4 hours for a top guy and this translates to 6? hours for a mid pack guy. So mid pack guys get in around midnight each day....

    See where I am coming from? Its a fine line of not having everyone above the 20-30 guys finishing in daylight each day. 150 bikes out on the stage after the sun drops? In africa lots of bikes out after dark but it got dark way earlier than it does in South America. What then of the cars and trucks, as it is a lot of them don't get in until the wee hours...

    I hear ya Ned, just not sure what a solution would be without making things totally ridiculous for the privateers.

    :lurk
  8. ian408

    ian408 Administrator Administrator

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    Is this a good or bad thing? It does mean there is interest in the Dakar and that has to be a good thing, yah?
  9. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

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    Indeed but not at the cost of losing the "spirit" of the race. The interest in the Dakar is huge, just not in North America. Its the time zones in Europe the organization is playing too....
  10. neduro

    neduro Addict Super Moderator

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    Yes, agree. There's also the point that the more technical the terrain gets, the bigger the difference in time between the top pros and the back of the field.

    To me, what would be ideal is adding ~2 hours to many special stages thru the event for the top riders. This will add something like ~4 hours for many midpackers, however, I would hope there is a corresponding shortening of liaison, so that the time into bivouac isn't changed by as much as the stage is lengthened. I think this would also change strategy for the top riders to some extent, by not allowing them to push themselves or their machines quite as hard because of the additional ~20-30 hours of racing over 2 weeks.

    But it can't happen, not without starting before dawn while respecting French dinner hour. They are already trying to maximize that gap and doing a pretty good job of it.


    As you say, it cuts both ways. The attention is a good thing, just the time zone issue means the days have to finish early, which I view as a shame.

    Someone pointed out a few pages back that the quality of the field has been improving, and the quality of the bikes as well. Those are both good points to keep in mind when looking at attrition, 30% was for on-average less competitive riders on some real POS bikes.

    I think its easy to sit in a chair at home and say "the event has gotten easy". It really hasn't. It's still a very long way to travel, with a very great number of risks and challenges along the way.
  11. ian408

    ian408 Administrator Administrator

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    Of course.

    I can't speak to losing the spirit of the race. I think you'd have to ask someone who has participated in both as to whether the true spirit is lost.

    I do think the daily coverage is good for the sport though. Even in North America.
  12. neduro

    neduro Addict Super Moderator

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    +1

    That's what brings the crazy money and excitement to the sport, which is part of the attraction over just going on big long desert rides alone and on your own time.
  13. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

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    Good points Ned :freaky

    Indeed that would be an excellent solution, shorten the liaisons and lengthen the specials. Doable? Indeed and one that would, I believe, help retain the "spirit" that is slowly changing (I don't dare say diminishing).

    IMHO the bivouacs need to move away from the cities. It should become mandatory for each competitor to sleep in the bivouac, the whole hotel thing just rubs me the wrong way and widens the gap between pro's and amateurs. Place the bivouacs out in the sand, easy way to remove the RV's.

    On the surface it seems quite easy to implement a few subtle changes that would help keep the Dakar spirit alive.

    Also as you mentioned some armchair quarterbacks (of which I am one) post things about the race being too easy, mostly based on attrition rate. You mentioned better machines (one third of the field on 450 factory built KTM's) and better riders. One other contributing factor, I believe, is that even the back of the pack guys are training and preparing like heck for the race. It wasn't too long ago that the Dakar was on a bucket list for adventurers, akin to climbing Mt Everest with guides assistance. Those days seem to be over to an extent. Not only the resume needed to be accepted (remember it wasn't too long ago the race wasn't getting enough riders to fill all of the available starting spots) but now folks train specifically for an entire year or more, fitness and bike skills.

    Change...hard to accept...
  14. Jadon

    Jadon Been here awhile

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    In Africa the bivouacs were in the roughest of places because that's how it was. A lot of the toughness and roughness was just there, an unavoidable fact. Not good, not bad.
    This can be just as true in South America.
    Let the Earth make it hard, not the rules.
  15. ian408

    ian408 Administrator Administrator

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    In a modern world, there are many timezones to accommodate. It's an event put on by a French group so eh, maybe they have more of a say. Sort of like assigning penalty time and so forth. It'll always work out for them :lol3

    As far as quality of rider/machine, that's been more apparent since the change to 450's so maybe it's also to do with the new restriction and the fact that a greater number of riders now choose KTM to start? Which shouldn't diminish the quality of entrant's improvement either.


    Russell Coutts likened watching America's Cup racing to watching paint dry. Which is true. Change came when Dennis Conner decided to up the ante with a catamaran. Now, you'll be watching a much more exciting race that should keep even a non-sailor interested. With change comes survival.

    I do like the notion of bivouacs and tents and stuff. I think if you're well rested in comparison to your competition, you have gained an unfair advantage. To me, the 'spirit' of Dakar is more about overcoming and making do with what you have. Kind of like watching Charlie and Ewan wander across Mongolia. You'd see them sleeping in a tent--then realize there were a ton of people supporting them which took a bit away from the adventure of what you thought they were doing.
  16. neduro

    neduro Addict Super Moderator

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    This.
  17. klatelm

    klatelm Been here awhile

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    From Enduro 360, sorry if this is a repost.

    What was the most unusual thing that happened to you during the race?
    KC: I guess we could say that winning a stage was unusual, I did not really expect that to happen. Other than that, there was the day my bike broke down. I ended up getting towed about 180 miles by a nice Australian guy who offered help. The first part was a really sandy track. We had the strap tied to the footpeg. I didn’t’ really think about the fact that I shouldn’t be jumping the bike. We went over this little bump and I caught some air with the bike. The next thing I know the bike goes out sideways from under me because the strap is pulling on the footpeg. So I completely crashed big time, high sided the bike. Fortunately I was okay, it was fine, but kind of stupid at the same time. I just laughed it off.
  18. dox

    dox How much for the ape?

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    :lurk
  19. YOGOI

    YOGOI Prick

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    :lol3:lol3 That great.

  20. YOGOI

    YOGOI Prick

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    Might as well make it 3 days in a row. I was sure I was going to open this page with an renouncement to an announcement. :D