Dakar 2005 - 1 Jan
File under Dakar Race
Author: Mike Werner
Location: Tangers, Morocco
I've had a run of bad luck with internet equipped hotels. The last one was 3rd of January in Malaga (never made it over with the Dakar due to tyre swap issues/logistics). We checked in into the Ibis hotel, which was equipped with WiFi from Telefonica. Whatever you do, don't EVER use Telefonica's WiFi service !!! It's not a service, it's a punishment !!
Anyway, we're currently in Tangers, Morocco. On the way we bumped into Tiffany C. (the young lady that has travelled around the world on her motorcycle, ALONE) and several others. That made for great fun during the crossing.
We celebrated the new year with Simon Pavey (dorsal 102) and Nick Plumb (#103), organized by Kylie Maebus from the WorldOfBMW. It was a great party, and both riders must have had a tough time riding the 900 kilometers to Granada; I know I did ...
On the way, all the way, from Barcelona to Granada were 100,000's of people on bridges, parkings, gas stations... anywhere where they could see the Dakar convoy pass. The sight was amazing, and we never realized how popular the Dakar really was until that day. For 900 Kms, people were lined up, often several rows thick ! And few did not realize that there are no Dakar entries on BMW flat twins..... we were automatically assumed to be part of the convoy (the Dakar stickers on our bikes did help)...
So I loaded my trusty Nikon camera and set of making photos on the road. Here's what we saw:
| ||One of the first riders we saw, number 134 (Dutchman Stef Wolters) lonely all by himself. |
| ||Here dorsal 110 (Patrice Carillon) is checking his roadbook. He was right to do it, because even us riding with a GPS went wrong several times. |
| ||This is the support car of Pavey/Plumb, the Dome BMW team. |
| ||The support truck #861. The driver was actually surprised when I passed him standing up with a camera in my hand. He left the road slightly, and then honked !! |
| ||Here's the support truck for the Schlesser buggy team. |
| ||KTM rider #106 (German Norman Kronseder) had the same problems we had; that of riding into a low, blazzing sun for hours and hours.... |
| ||Another KTMer, number 105 (Belgium Rene Delaby). |
| ||Believe me, this is a Dakar truck (#871), despite the fact that the rear says "Mad Murphys". |
| ||Support car 617. |
| ||KTM number 154 (Italian Antonio Cabini) on his way. |
| ||The one and only sidecar entry, #250, it's the Swiss team (Lanaro/Howald) on their Aprilia. |
| ||When we arrived at the gas station, we encountered this trucking crowd, the support trucks for the Mitsubishi stars (Roma, Peterhansel, ..) |
| ||The sidecar duo Lanaro and Howald pulled in to tank as well. |
| ||They were followed by numbers 182 (Frenchman Jean-Hugues Moneyron) and 183 (Frenchman Olivier Le Cocq). It's surprising what you could see at the gas stations.... |
| ||Even when you came to the toll booths, you got stuck behind one of the 1,500 Dakar vehicles !! (Jacques on the way back came face to face with Ari Vatanen, who smiled and waved at him while we were waiting for the toll). |
| ||Here's the first breakdown we found on the way (#809) |
| ||No Dakar vehicles to be seen here, just some of the country side.|
We ended up in Granada for the night. Most of the evening we heard the Dakar vehicles arriving from our hotel room. Not so much for the noise they make (they can be pretty loud), but for the cries and shouts of the public.