|Dakar Rally 2015: Dakar Tour stopped in the Netherlands with Cyril Despres|
It was a relaxed atmosphere for the meeting with the Dutch contingent of the Dakar. The stakes are sufficiently far off for the main players in the truck category to avoid looking ahead to the competition at present. So, for the moment, on the shores of Loon op Zand Lake, near to Breda, Pieter Versluis focused on inviting journalists for an exhilarating ride in the cabin of his Man truck, just like Wulf Van Ginkel in his Ginaf.
As for Tim Coronel, he gave visitors a chance to test the single-seat buggy with which he has completed four editions of the Dakar, promising to make up for the only blot on his record, when he had to drop out last January.
For truck drivers Gerard De Rooy and Hans Stacey, car drivers Erik Van Loon and Erik Wevers, or biker Frans Verhoeven, all of them nonetheless came with the hunger to know a little more about the programme for the next edition of the Dakar. Invited to meet the Dutch media, Cyril Despres spoke of the stakes in his conversion from bike to car, with the return of Peugeot to the Dakar.
Indeed, the meeting took on a more serious tone when Xavier Gavory, head of the rally competitors’ department, spoke of the marathon stages, for example. This is not an aspect that worries Jurgen Van Den Goorbergh, the former Moto-GP rider, who is again changing category and is planning on racing as an unassisted biker after having experienced the thrills of the truck race on the last edition.
"Taking part in the Dakar on a bike without assistance is an experience I’m keen on trying," said Van Den Goorbergh. "It’s definitely the most difficult challenge, so I’d like to get my teeth into it!” On completion of the meeting, it seems clear that the time for talk is over, with everyone now focused on preparation."
Dakar Tour - the next dates of the presentation
17th April: Japan
20th April : China
29th April: Poland
13th May: Spain
20th May*: Brazil
2014/04/15 | 19:23 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/ASO