The Dakar finisher’s medal is the most coveted prize
When a sporting event is considered one of the most difficult to finish, similar to climbing Mount Everest or crossing the North or South pole, just making it to the last day, crossing the finishing line and standing on the podium become all the more important.
For instance, out of the 196 motorcycles that took part in the 2014 edition of Dakar, only 78 made it to the finishing line in Valparaíso, Chile. That’s just 38.77% of the participants. This illustrates just how hard this event is, with riders risking their lives at all times. For the 2015 edition, competitors in the motorbike/quad category will once again be faced with a nearly 9000 km journey over 14 days and 13 stages, including a marathon stage and a rest day. The rally ends in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 17 January.
In what is the 37th edition of Dakar, our riders can expand their list of achievements considerably, setting new records. Granada-born Miguel Puertas, who has completed the Dakar nine times, is on the cusp of winning his 10th straight medal and remaining one of the most decorated pilots in Dakar history. Puertas has reached the end more than any other Spanish rider ever and ranks among the top five in the world. Meanwhile, Rosa Romero, from Catalonia, has raced the Dakar three times and had to abandon on all three occasions. She is anxiously awaiting the 2015 edition since belonging to a team enhances here chances of finishing greatly. This would place her among the top three all-time Spanish female riders. Antonio Gimeno’s first and only Dakar was in 2011, when he finished 46th. The Madrid rider wants to help his team mates reach these heights while keeping up his record of finishing each edition in which he has participated.