Fri 02 February 2018

Dakar 2018: 6 HT riders finished in Cordoba!

Dakar 2018 has been finished last week and it can be said that the 2018 edition was a Dakar of which many riders and rally lovers dreamed! As predicted, there were the sand dunes in Peru, the high altitudes in Bolivia and thereafter the sand and heat in Argentina. A great  challenge for the riders. 8 HT Rally Raid Husqvarna Racing riders started in Lima, and the team could welcome 6 riders at the finish line in Cordoba. Well done!

The first stages were ridden in Peru, where high sand dunes set the scene. The battle for the riders already started in the very first stages and they had to push hard to fight the dunes and to finish. After stage 3, our Austrian rider Markus Berthold arrived in the bivouac with a broken thumb. With some nice bandages he started the next stage and there was nothing that could stop him! He made it to the finish line in Cordoba with a broken thumb, two broken toes and another infected thumb, but… still as gentle as always. Incredible. Great job.


The struggles Markus had to overcome, were familiar to Mirjam Pol, our Dutch female rider. She is known by most people as the person arranging the logistics and administration for HT Rally Raid for years, but this year she entered the rally as a rider. It can be said it was not an easy one for her. She struggled with the circumstances already from stage 1, couldn’t find her rhythm and after a crash at day 4 at which she broke her arm, the rally started to be even harder. However, after a big fight she was able to finish the rally in position 75 and as 2nd female rider.


Our Bolivian brothers Walter and Daniel Nosiglia had a flying start with even some top 10 positions on several stages. Very concentrated and full of motivation they started the stages, but at stage 4 one moment of bad luck led to a crash and the abandonment of Walter Nosiglia. Daniel pushed to the limit to overcome the disappointment of Walter’s crash and was able to finish the rally at a 13th position in the general rankings. A great performance.


Besides Walter’s abandonment in this rally, also Txomin Arana got a DNF behind his name. Riding went better and better in the first week and in the beginning of the second week, but after a horrible crash in stage 8, he was not able to continue the rally. Luckily, Txomin had no serious injuries, but this crash was the end of Dakar 2018 for him.


David Thomas was really motivated to start the Dakar in 2018 after a DNF in 2017. Coming to the start line supported by Peggy and Angie, he was determined to reach the finish line and he managed! He had some hard times in the first week with the sand dunes, but in the second week with the faster tracks, it felt like home for David and fun increased even more with the most memorable moment at the finish line in Cordoba of course!


Max Hunt, mister ‘Happy Days’, had a good and sound race and managed to finish stage after stage to say ‘hi’ to his wife Billie and baby boy Badger. It was not easy everywhere, but he enjoyed the rally just as in 2017 and made it a good time for the whole family Hunt and his family in law.


Jack Lundin started his first Dakar in 2018. This Rookie rode a great rally, rode the speed he was able to and finished day after day. Totally on his own he managed to do his roadbook, organize his stuff and handle all other things passing during a rally. Good job!!

Altogether, it was a great rally for most of the riders and in general for HT Rally Raid Husqvarna Racing. The team did a great job again with bringing the bikes to the finish line and we are satisfied with the results of this Dakar.

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