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Respect: Isidre Esteve Pujol

  Posted at 01:16:54 PM
  File under  Dakar Race
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Normandy, France

We've all heard those human interest stories of the private entries in the Dakar race. Sold their house to enable them to ride the Dakar race, lost their job or worse, their spouse, just because of riding the Dakar was a dream. But what about the professionals. You rarely hear from them, apart from when they win, or when the crash.

Esteve Pujol
There's one professional who at the top of his career crashed, and with the crash, he lost the use of his legs {link}. The man is the Spanish KTM rider, Isidre Esteve Pujol. Esteve is known to be very, very fast on his motorcycle. He was the man that was going to win the Dakar. His best performance in this race was twice 4th position (in 20 races).

As with all professional Dakar racers, Isidre dreams of the Dakar. But now he can't use his legs, so no motorcycle for him anymore. But that has not stopped the man. He has converted a Ssangyong 4-wheel drive car, allowing him to drive it without legs, and has entered the race.

Esteve Pujol
He needs to be lifted into the car by his mechanics, and hope & pray that he doesn't crash since he can't get out by himself. But that hasn't stopped him... he rides the car like he used to ride his motorcycle; like a bat out of hell!

When he arrives back at the end of the stage, his wife needs to spend hours massaging his back, since he can't move in the car, and he's stuck in it for hours.

At the time of writing this, he was still in the race, despite more than half the contestants are out. He's positioned around the 39th position, not bad for a biker.

You've got to admire his resolve to continue racing. Respect!

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