|Australasian Safari: Lerner / Reina and Diener Dakar Challenge winner.|
The penultimate leg of the Dakar Challenge took place on the Australasian Safari, with triumph in the bike category for the promising Shane Diener, whilst the car category witnessed the first feminine victory in the history of the Dakar Challenge, by the duo Amy Lerner - Tricia Reina.
A real test of their mettle, the Australian terrain always benefits sturdy riders and drivers, like South African Brett Cummings, who finished in Santiago in 43rd position on the Dakar 2013 after having won his place on the Australasian Safari.
This year, his successor on the Dakar Challenge roll of honour in the bike category put in just as good a display over the 3,200 km covered in 7 stages. At the end of the competition, Shane Diener had almost kept pace with the leaders, finishing 3rd in the general standings, behind Rodney Fagotter (14th on the last Dakar) and Matt Fish (111th on the Dakar, but 7 stages in the Top 25).
The Australian has this year reached a level of maturity which will be necessary on the Dakar, because he completed the leading event in his country for the first time, after six unsuccessful attempts. “I’m thrilled to finish at the top on the Dakar Challenge and also to do so well during this week of competition. It was a great battle for the third step on the podium, in particular with Lee Stephens, who was also in contention for the Dakar Challenge,” said the delighted Yamaha rider, who is now in a race against the clock to fine-tune his preparation for the major event next January.
On four wheels, the battle to win the Dakar Challenge took place further back from the front of the race, which was won by Geoff Olholm (11th on the Dakar 2013). However, the winners of the Dakar Challenge, Amy Lerner and Tricia Reina, had the virtue of completing a demanding route that eliminated all their rivals. The 100% feminine crew should attract plenty of media attention on the tracks and dunes of South America: they will become the first sisters to start the Dakar in the same vehicle!
The previous winners of the Dakar Challenge 2013
- Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000: Roan Roberts (bike) / Rundle/Juan Moehr (car)
- Desafio Ruta 40: Ontiveros (bike) / González Ferioli (quad) / Guayasamín/Carreno (car)
- Dakar Challenge USA: Peter Hajas - Lester Praire (car)
2013/10/02 | 20:24 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/ASO