“I feel quite ashamed to write this”

The Dakar is not just any race. The mythical raid hides behind it a full year of preparation that can be eternal or end in a breath. It never does without shocks, but the later they arrive and the less serious they are, things will go much better. The perfect example is the performance of sunderlands only a year ago, to conquer a second Touareg that at the first exchange he will no longer be able to defend, after “a rather violent accident” at km 52 of the first stage. The Briton crashed as soon as the special began and had to be evacuated by helicopter. He was conscious and mobile, but he had severe back pain that has resulted in a “shoulder blade” (the left one) fractured, a large bruise on his back and a concussion.” Although outside of gravity and within what fits, now that becomes the least of it.

The GasGas pilot thanked “all the messages” received after having to deal with “a difficult pill to digest”: “I’m more or less fine, but I feel quite embarrassed to be writing this. I want to express my disappointment for my team that has worked so hard to give me the tools to defend myself”, says the pilot, in a hard statement where he assures that “These moments are what make victories so special.” It is not the first time that he has had to deal with this situation since in 2018, also when he was defending his first Touareg, he was left out in the fourth stage due to another crash.

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As it happened then, before leaving Sunderland were “very well and leading (with 10 seconds in front of Barreda) the first part of the stage”, until “a stone under the sand in a river bed” caused him to fall. He was rescued by Walkner, whom he thanks for “stopping to help me and the Dakar medical team, making sure he was safe.” He is, but paying too high a price as soon as the rally begins: abandonment. And although in a situation like this that should be the least of it, this shows once again that the pilots are made of a different material. The lesson is annotated: I will try to learn from this and I hope my teammates can bring home the result the team deserves. Thank you”.

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