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Dakar 2008: Rom Classen - "We´ll compete wherever we can"

The 43-year-old South African Tom Classen arrived back in South Africa on the same afternoon he was supposed to be riding his KTM 690 on the opening stage of the 30th Dakar rally. He was one of 570 car, motorcycle and truck competitors from 50 countries left disappointed when the organisers pulled the plug on the rally after terrorist threats. Classen was to have competed in his third Dakar after finishing 77th in 2006 and 18th (and first South African motorcyclist) in 2007.

"We've already seen the Dakar bypass other African countries such as Egypt, Mali and Guinea - now it's Mauritania" he said to the South African "Motoring" Magazine. "There will be no more finishes at Lac Rose in Dakar because you can't get there without crossing countries that are no longer stable. I feel very sorry for those who were to have competed in their first Dakar - all that preparation and investment for nothing - but we're not going to take this lying down. We'll compete wherever we can, anywhere in the world.

"Our Dakar team, Rally Raid UK, has entered Cape Town engineer Albert Hinenaus, Pretoria town planner Robert Straek and me in the St Petersburg - Beijing rally from July 12-28, 2008. I've also been invited to compete in the nine-day Australian Safari in August 2008, so my Dakar training won't go to waste."

2008/01/07 | 14:28 CET | Source: [ ]

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