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Fri 24 December 2021

Dakar 2022: heading to Saudi Arabia with 7 riders

With only a few days to the start of the rally, the team is counting down the days. With 8375km of which 4258 km of SS in 12 specials it will be a tough one again. The Dakar Rally will be hosted in Saudi Arabia for the third time and with the astonishing landscapes over there, it is something to look forward to. With seven riders in the team, one bike in malle-moto and 8 people in the assistance crew, HT Rally Raid will jump into the plan next Monday. Hereby, we proudly introduce the 7 riders in our team for Dakar 2022.

Xavier de Soultrait #12

He experienced the rare privilege of leading the Dakar general classification. Last season, Xavier de Soultrait transformed. After leaving the professional Yamaha team with whom he has seven participations in the rally-raid, the native of Moulins took on a new challenge by becoming a "privateer" with HT Rally Raid. The change was a positive one. He was in the top 10 of the general classification after six stages and even led at the end of day four. Xavier was surprised by his ease and ability to resist everything as well as not make any mistakes. But on stage eight, he fell and broke a vertebra and was forced to retire. It was the fourth time in eight Dakars that Xavier didn't finish. However, the Husqvarna rider knows that he has to go through this, too, to have the luxury of excelling and one day winning overall. While he has been offered the challenge of competing in a car, he prefers to stay with the bike. He welcomed his second child this year and knows that he will have to deal with the discomfort that can sometimes arise in his neck after a long day on the bike. It was notably the case in October at the Morocco rally (14th). But this doesn't mean that he is less motivated: Xavier is ready to give it his all, once again, to get back to the top.

Mirjam Pol #40

Since she was a toddler at the age of 4 Mirjam Pol, our Dutch woman in the team, is riding motorbikes. In 2006 she took part in the Dakar Rally for the first time at the age of 22. After starting 8 Dakars and finishing 7 of them (on all 3 continents!) this experienced rider will take the start in 2022 again. With the victory in the women's class in the World Cup Baja 2021, she is ready for the Dakar!

Walter Roelants #67

Walter, from Belgium, will join the team again for his second Dakar. Living on adrenaline from morning to night, riding his motorcycle through the most incredibale landscapes and toughest terrain, meeting other people... he would like to experience that again. Good luck in your second Dakar Walter!

Jack Lundin #107

Jack Lundin’s journey to the Dakar rally actually started as soon as the early 2000s. At the time, the young Canadian boy was following with passion the exploits of his dad Lukas who managed to finish the event twice in four attempts (43rd in 2000 and 35th in 2002). Jack was only 11 when his father battled it out on the tracks of Africa but already his dream was to participate himself. Years went by and from motocross, he turned to desert racing, even working for the Baja 1000 when he was only 13. His first appearance on the Dakar came in 2018. At the time he was working for the family gold mining company in Ecuador so the trip to Peru wasn’t a long one. He managed to finish the event in 77th position. Two years later, he had the clear ambition to return to the race and discover Saudi Arabia. Sadly a crash during the Merzouga Rally and a broken femur and arm forced him to postpone his quest to discover a new territory. Based in Guatemala for professional reasons, he is now fit enough to return to the rally of his dreams. After competing in the Baja 250 and Baja 1000, Jack will be part of our team and his goal remains to finish, hopefully doing better than his first attempt.

Diego Noras: #122

This Argentinian rider has an extreme passion for motorsports. As a dedicated rider he participated in many competitions, and even represented his country in the International Six Days Enduros in the junior category. As a dad of two children, husband and civil engineer by profession, he now ventures into rally-raid. After participating and finishing the Rally du Maroc, he will make his debute in the Dakar Rally with the goal of finishing the toughest race in the world.

Stephan Preuss #151

'Together we are strong!' Stephan is the older brother of the two "Preuss Brothers" in our team. It took a long time to prepare this family trip. Stephan made his first steps into the rally business in the Marlboro Adventure Team in 1997 in Canada and Utah, but it became finally serious in the Tuareg Rallye in Morocco on the old playground of the Dakar Rally. Gaining Cross Country World Cup know-how and skills by competing in the 2012 Pharaons Rallye in Egypt and many editions of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, Stephan is now ready for the biggest adventure of his life, so far...

Thomas Preuss #152

'Brothers are the best team players!' Thomas "Tommy" is the young gun of the "Preuss Brothers". This venture capital investor is a talented german enduro rider. Two and a half years younger, he learned the necessary rally navigation skills from his brother. Thomas' great riding skills with the high quality of his navigation are a perfect setup for the upcoming Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia. His wife Katja and his sons Leo ( 8 ) and Max (4) will follow the race in Hamburg on every channel. Thomas: "One of my biggest dreams become true - since I was in the age of my boys, I was following the Dakar on TV, but never thought that I will be there one day" Thomas can´t wait to start the race!

 

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