Having endured 15 days of riding, crossing three countries and more than 8,000 km, Patrick Beaulé has finished The Dakar on his KTM motorcycle. In doing so, he has become the first Canadian who has ever successfully completed the grueling event on two and four wheels. The experienced rider finished in 62nd position out of 125 bikes left at the end. The numbers don’t tell the real tale though, as it is difficult for even a fully backed factory effort to finish the famed rally. For an independent rider to even finish is almost as important as a win. To make the finish even sweeter, Beaulé proposed to his girlfriend Frede at the finish line. She said yes!
Beaulé co-drove for Aldo Racing’s David Bensadoun in the 2012 event, when the duo became the first Canucks to finish Dakar in the car category. Bensadoun’s effort ended early in this year’s event when the engine in his Desert Warrior expired. The other Canadian – also on a bike – was Don Hatton, who also went out early following a collision with a truck.
Peterhansel wins 11th Dakar
The biggest stars of the Dakar are the cars, and this year saw four main competitors near the top for most of the event. Ten-time Dakar winner Stephane Peterhansel is always a favourite to win, but first he had to be faster than rally legend Carlos Sainz, Nasser Al-Attiyah and American Robby Gordon. Sainz and Al-Arriyah suffered engine failures, while Gordon still can’t get the Dakar monkey off his back. The Hummer driver finished in the 14th position despite winning a stage and being one of the fastest vehicles on the road in most stages.
The top three in each class at the finish were:
1. Peterhansel – MINI’
2. De Villiers – Toyota
3. Novitskiy – MINI
1. Depres – KTM
2. Faria – KTM
3. Lopez – KTM
1. Patronelli – Yamaha
2. Casale – Yamaha
3. Sonik – Yamaha
1. Nikolaev – Kamaz
2. Mardeev – Kamaz
3. Karginov – Kamaz
And here, in the same order, are the highlights of each class.
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