Sara Garcia racing in Dakar Rally 2020 unassisted category! True courage!

Sara Garcia racing in Dakar Rally 2020 unassisted category! True courage!

fruStration, loneliness, fury, mentL block, incomprehension, … all theSe feelings that make yOu grOw up 🔝

Sara Garcia Dakar Rally 2019 Originals Motul class Photo Credit: Sara

It’s hard to comprehend what a rider goes through when heartbreak knocks on their door. When all hours, weeks, months of training, planning and preparation to race long-sought after goal goes out the pipe- crushing all hopes of crossing the finish-line amid tears rolling down riders’ face.

Even if rider was philosophical by nature drawing response ‘that’s what can happen in our sport’, cruel twists of fate challenge even the most hardiest rider to rise up and conquer the unknown again.

Sara Garcia is about to embark on racing Dakar Rally 2020 Originals Motul class having tasted all of the above in quick succession when the Spaniard competed in 2019 Dakar Rally in Peru.

Together with her partner Javier Vega, Sara set focus on becoming the first Spanish female to complete 2019 Dakar Rally ‘unassisted’. As editorial by Johnny Killmore puts it: riders do the entire rally solo.

Sara Garcia Dakar Rally Originals Motul category Photo Credit: Sara

All their tools and spares go into a small container which is shipped by truck from stage to stage. Riders do their own services, repairs, navigation, preparation, and even have to pitch their own tent each night’.

Where fate lent a hand, Sara’s debut Dakar Rally ended abruptly due to mechanical issue at Stage 4, forcing Garcia to abandon her race and return to the bivouac care of 1-of-10 Race helicopters.

Enough of tough times, doer race conditions, racing sand dunes of mountainous proportions where the horizen never seems to be reached- Sara re-committed, re-focused and harked back to grass-roots support from family past and present.

And #98 is ready: my 80L trunk 📦 To the competitors that we go in the #original category (without assistance) is the only thing that organizes us, along with a set of wheels & the tent ⛺️ so, here we have our life for the two weeks of the race 💨 Tools, spare parts, supplementation & of course, memories to help you get afloat in the hard times that we will surely live in @dakarrally 💪

Facts: to race Dakar Rally 2020 Originals Motul class is- #98: ‘Above all it has been a budget decision. The Dakar is a very expensive test and any extra makes the budget wobble, so I decided to simplify it in order to attend the test’.

Sara Garcia Photo Credit: Víctor Cuervo

Preparations for Dakar 2020- #98: ‘For the Dakar 2019 I focused on my rehabilitation; 2018 was a very hard year for me, with three strong injuries at the beginning of the year. I had to re-charge the batteries to get physically and mentally ready for Dakar. I also worked on the mechanical side, since in the Original category it is unassisted’.

#98: ‘We have given more weight to psychological preparation and we have focused more on the physical training for the performance on the bike. The truth is that I have noticed a brutal improvement in both areas’. 

And on Road-Books: #98: ‘I believe that we will not be affected by the changes in delivering the road-book in the morning since in the Original category we do not have time to review and paint the road-book at night’.

‘As for the terrain, I think it will benefit me since the dunes are the terrain where I am most comfortable, so this year will be more bearable for me’.

To finish Dakar Rally is massive mission. Percentage is roughly 50-50 that a rider will finish. Some odds. Some race. Some test of courage. All of which Sara has loads of.

Dakar Rally 2020 January 5th to January 17th. 12 Stages start at Jeddah and finish in Qiddiya, Saudia Arabia.

Header Photo: Sara Garcia 2019 Dakar Rally Stage 4 issue.

Words: Sharon Cox.

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