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Dakar 2006 Summary and Bivouac Photos

  Posted at 10:00:00 AM
  File under  Racing Dakar Race
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Normandy, France

The Dakar 2006 is over, but the price paid was very high. I hope that future Dakar races will not put such a heavy death toll, on racers or spectators.

Austrian motorcycle manufacturer, KTM, have again wiped out all competition. The armada of KTM motorcycles, ridden by some of the most talented riders, showed what a good motorcycle, great riders, fantastic team management, determination and an excellent physical condition can accomplish.

Many people have complained that it's all KTM, KTM, KTM.... but you need to look beyond that. It's the individual riders, Marc Coma versus Cyril Despres, it's the teams, Gauloise versus Repsol, which makes it interesting. KTM at this moment produce the best off-road motorcycle, invest the highest amounts of money and have the strongest desire to win. Yamaha, a distant competitor, can win the race, but Yamaha would need to invest the kinds of money they invest for MotoGPs. Rodrigues finished in 9th position. David Fretigne, despite only winning one stage this year on his Yamaha, still showed that his motorcycle can accomplish miracles with an able rider. Ludivine Puy, the female Yamaha rider, who unfortunately broke her pelvis when avoiding a spectator, showed that even a nonprofessional can go up the rankings.

For the serious competitors or private entries, the race was tough! Really tough ! But they kept on going. As usual, there are the numerous tales about bikers lost or stranded in the desert, or riding their battered motorcycles with broken ribs, dislocated shoulders, and then finding help and assistance from another motorcycle rider. The true Dakar spirit still lives on. Thierry Sabine would have been proud.

So until next year, here are some photos of some of the races, and some of the remaining bivouac shots. Thanks to KTM for the photos.

Dakar 2006 -Gio Sala
Gio Sala       (c) DPPI

Dakar 2006 -Marc Coma
Marc Coma       (c) DPPI

Dakar 2006 -Jonah Street
Jonah Street       (c) DPPI

Dakar 2006 -Cyril Despres
Cyril Despres       (c) DPPI

Dakar 2006 -Chris Blais
Chris Blais       (c) DPPI

Dakar 2006 -Bivouac Kayes: Gio Sala and Jordi Viladoms
Bivouac Kayes: Gio Sala and Jordi Viladoms       (c) DPPI

Dakar 2006 -Jacek Czachor
Jacek Czachor       (c) DPPI

Dakar 2006 -Bivouac Kayes: Marc Coma
Bivouac Kayes: Marc Coma       (c) DPPI

Dakar 2006 -Michel Gau and Cyril Despres
Michel Gau and Cyril Despres       (c) DPPI

Dakar 2006 -Tobias Goldbacher (mechanic)
Tobias Goldbacher (mechanic)       (c) DPPI

And finally, Fabrizio Meoni School with several of the riders:

Dakar 2006 -Casteu, Despres, Coma, Sala, De Gavardo, Roma, Alphand, Duclos, Peterhansel
Casteu, Despres, Coma, Sala, De Gavardo, Roma, Alphand, Duclos, Peterhansel (c) P. Batini

See you all next year, for the 2007 Dakar......

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