Cape Town - The Dakar Rally is by far the toughest motorsport event on the planet, and the toughest category in the Dakar has to be the Malle Moto class – literally “a trunk and a bike” - for motorcycle riders without any backup whatsoever beyond what they can pack into a standard metal chest, which the organisers undertake to transport from each overnight bivouac to the next.
Let’s put that into perspective: you’ve just finished more 500km of flat-out riding across a mix of trackless desert and rocky scree, at altitudes of up to 4000 metres, you’ve taken a couple of heavy tumbles and you’ve got bruises in places you didn’t know you had.
Your bike has ingested some sand; the engine will have to be flushed if it is to keep running. Its rear monoshock has blown a seal and will have to be replaced and there’s at least one electrical gremlin to be traced.
You have to be on the start line for the next stage in less than 16 hours – and all you have are your own two hands, and the tools and spares in your trunk. Imagine doing that every day for two weeks, over 9000km of the most demanding terrain on the planet and you have some idea of what the Dakar Rally is like for privateer entries.
HEAR IT FIRST HAND
Now Cape Town rally raid fans are getting the chance to meet the only South African rider to finish the 2015 Dakar Rally on two wheels and hear first hand what it was like.
Albert Hintenaus finished 43rd overall and third in the Malle Moto Class on a KTM 450 in his fourth attempt at the Dakar, after an engine failure in 2007 (the last Dakar Rally held in Africa), a cancelled race in 2008 and a 52nd place finish in 2011 on a KTM 690 Rally.
He’ll be giving a presentation on his experiences in this year’s Dakar at KTM Cape Town, 44 Marine Drive, Paarden Eiland, at 7pm on Thursday 5 February, including the horrific Stage 8, which took the riders 100km across the world’s biggest salt flat, left sodden by heavy rain to the point where a number of top riders were expecting the stage to be cancelled.
More than 30 bikes failed to make it through the stage, including top-placed South African Riaan van Niekerk, leaving Hintenaus as the only South African biker still running.
Join him on Thursday evening and get all the inside stories about the Dakar Rally that you always wanted to hear but never had anybody to ask.
More information from KTM Cape Town on (021) 511-7966.