MXLink Live speaks with Sara Garcia on ‘what it takes to race Dakar Rally in ‘Unassisted’ category

MXLink Live speaks with Sara Garcia on ‘what it takes to race Dakar Rally in ‘Unassisted’ category

MXLink Live speaks with Sara Garcia on what it takes to race Dakar Rally 2020 in ‘Unassisted’ category. Making history as the first Women ever to complete the grueling 12 Stage Rally unaided, Sara freely shared her knowledge and experience gained from racing The Dakar in Saudia Arabia earlier this year.

MXLink Live speaks with Sara Garcia Live Chat

What stands out from the Live Stream conversation is Sara’s enthusiastic personality on how #98 did it! And, that is main question: how do you go from ground-zero to line-up for Stage One at Jeddah, through to cross Stage 12 finish line at Al-Qiddiya- all the while maintaining physical, mental and emotional well being to achieve long-held goal of success.

For sure, Sara does not slight away from the sheer difficulty of all planning and preparation needed to even get to the start-line. The pitch to sponsors to gain financial backing, the learning of new skills to sell yourself as a rider capable of racing the world’s most grueling Rally- not to mention racing with ‘No Assistance’ over the course of 12 days.

Whether Sara marketed the project as ‘the only female racing this class’ as point of difference to attract sponsors, fact remains a rider racing Dakar represents the highest level of commitment, tenacity to persevere amid adversity, along with hard-rock mental toughness to dig deep when needed- for near on 2 weeks- to earn the backing of those who believe a female or male can complete the goal.

Sara Garcia Dakar Rally 2020 Stage 3 Photo Credit: ASO

Certainly, Sara learnt plenty of hard knocks racing debut Dakar Rally in 2019, whereby mechanical issue at Stage 4 forced early withdrawal. Yet, there are silver linings from the many curve balls that are thrown a riders’ way in Motorsport. Sara put newly acquired experience from ‘019 into practice, marketing herself with belief of conviction, confidence and positive attitude that she had what it takes to race The Dakar 2020- and finish.

With Marketing strategies in place, ranked in order of steps to be presented, then actioned, then confirmed, Sara developed greater ease to sell her role as ‘Dakar Rider 2020’. In return, sponsors received publicity, Brands received endorsements at the world’s highest profile Rally event broadcast globally for 12 consecutive days.

When I asked Sara what was her #1 priority through-out the race, the following came to mind. Did it come down to making it through each day- when anything could happen. Was it making it through the hours needed to check the bike, working on the mechanical maintenance needed at the end of each Stage? Or was it coping with lack of sleep- pitching own tent at end of long days- not to mention only managing 2 showers in the whole Dakar?

Sara Garcia Dakar Rally 2020 Photo Credit: Francois Flamand

Sara: ‘I worked so hard, so many hours of time and dedication to achieve racing the Dakar to the finish- this was my own goal. I wanted to prove to myself I could do it!’ 

It is only the few who reach the highest level of racing The Dakar- 500 competitors in 2020 and 88 withdrawals. Sara finished 22nd in ‘Motul Originals’ out of final 27 who crossed the finish-line.

A remarkable achievement for all to respect, admire and place up there in the ranks of making the uncertain – possible.

Words: Sharon Cox.

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