Amazing victories for Women racing and finishing Dakar Rally 2021!

Amazing victories for Women racing and finishing Dakar Rally 2021!

Amazing victories for Women racing and finishing Dakar Rally 2021! All Women competitors fought mighty battle to race Stages 1- 12 with finishers covering total of 7,846kms of which 4,767kms were timed. To finish was major feat in itself, taking pride and place amongst women on Dakar Rally General Classification podium along with competitors of Dakar Experience podium.

Laia Sanz Dakar Rally 2021 Stage 12 Photo Credit: ASO.

First up- massive congratulations to Sara Garcia racing 3rd consecutive Original by Motul Bike category finishing in 44th place Overall. Such an achievement remains duly recognized with Sara halving her Overall finish place which was 86th in 2020. No mechanical assistance through-out 12 Stages, no outside help when bike problems occurred, no crew to take over when Sara reached bivouac after each Stage has to be the toughest challenge to take on, let alone conquer. The sole female rider in Original by Motul class finished 12th Overall. Sincere applause!

Mighty admiration goes to Laia Sanz who completed her 11th Dakar Rally finishing in 17th place Overall. Having faced difficulty to overcome Lyme disease affecting training schedule, Laia proved her commitment to fulfill her own expectations of racing and crossing Dakar Rally 2021 finish line were indeed successful.

The sole female duo of Camelia Liparoti and Annett Fischer in Lightweight vehicles- Prototype category proved beyond expectation completing Dakar Rally T3.1 class in 2nd place, and 1st Overall in Women’s category. A truly remarkable feat given the likeable pair had to concede relegation to complete Dakar Rally 2020 under Dakar Experience category at Stage 6. Most importantly, racing the new Yamaha powered YXZ 1000R prototype was the ultimate test on how the vehicle would measure up under extreme race conditions. As Camelia states- the vehicle’s performance was extremely successful.

Camelia Liparoti and Annett Fischer celebrate on finishing Dakar Rally 2021 on podium Photo Credit: X Raid.

Only female Quad rider Sauny Martinez gained massive boost to goal of finishing Dakar Rally coming in 10th position Overall. Given the courageous Bolivian rider entered on the premise to race-to-win after 2 previous attempts didn’t pan out, meant digging super deep in psyche completing Stages 1 after the other. Racing total of 89 hours, 34 minutes and 54 seconds over 12 days has to admired for Sauny’s ability to stay the course.

South Africa’s dynamic duo Taye Perry and Bryan Baragwanath made history racing their Century Racing CR6 car to victory finishing the T1.3 Petrol 2-wheel Drive class in 7th position. The never-say-give-up attitude proved inspirational for all watching racing unfold with the pair overcoming a myriad of mechanical problems, navigation issues and ‘running-outta-time’ before next Stage starts, to complete the 12 Stage Rally in 57 hours, 25 minutes and 58 seconds.

Monica Plaza racing with her father Manolo Plaza were exceptional in steering their Sodicar Racing vehicle to 9th position in same class as Taye. Equally, huge shout out to rookie Audrey Rossat for making major up-hill climb in Bike rankings to complete her first ever Dakar in 59th place Overall. Most certainly, the French rider impressed her Team RS Concept crew who provided invaluable support across Dakar’s long, challenging Staged Rally.

There were couple of disappointments for Polaris RZR Factory Racing Team driver Kristen Matlock along with Red Bull Off Road Junior Team driver Cristina Guteirrez. Both women empower everyone with their massive amounts of motivation to race the toughest Rally in the world, yet both succumbed to mechanical problems which were unable to be repaired in required time for Stage. Kristen gained personal and professional satisfaction completing Rally under Dakar Experience category while Cristina continued to perform brilliance steering the Team’s OT3 vehicle across the final finish line.

For all women competitors in Dakar Rally 2021, even getting to the start is challenge enough, let alone completing 12 Stages racing such diverse terrain. Such women are inspirational for all watching, for future female competitors aiming to race Dakar and for everyone who ‘Dares to Dream’ realizing the impossible can be achieved.

Words: Sharon Cox.

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