So, off-road marathon «Dakar». Again, sad to note: among the participants brightest sporting event or a Russian motorcyclist. The first and only Russian participants are the most difficult marathon Sergei Cooks and Alexander Nifontov, the last three «Dakar» — 1994, 1996 and 1997.
What barriers stand in the way of our athletes? After all, many only dream, as if to get to the precious list of participants of the prestigious race. What should I know and how to prepare the motorcycle? And anyway, how much fun it would cost?
To clarify the situation come from Konstantin Komkov as a journalist and organizer who’s been on many of the «Dakar» and other off-road marathons, and the master of sports Alexei Kolomytsyn — champion of Russia on the enduro, has participated in many rally-raids, including domestic and international. Alex has received special training camp and was ready to go to the start of the African marathon in 2008, but the race at the last minute canceled because of terrorist threats by al-Qaeda. It would be the third «Dakar», to start from Lisbon. Now here’s the second consecutive year, «Dakar» Takes Latin America.
By the regulations to participate in the «Dakar» may «natural person of any nationality aged 18 years. In principle, this race is available even fancier. At least one must have the right to operate a motorcycle or chetyrehkolesnikom. Funny story: in 2004 one member of the «Dakar» has a driver’s license for 15 days before the start (although the finish, this brave young man did not get). The most difficult thing to find a sponsor, although in Europe it is possible not only to champions. The cost of entry fee — about 13,500 euros. A tariff has not changed since 2007, includes many, but not all. This includes medical insurance (first aid and evacuation to a hospital, for medical treatment is needed other insurance), delivery of the motorcycle to the start (in South America) and back to Europe. Rewinder roudbuka, trip — odometer, GPS beacon and a single sample disasters — all issued by the organizers hired and included in the amount of entry fee. Required import license FIM, which is available from Motorcycle Federation of Russia (IFR) — It will cost a little more than 100 euros (for comparison: in France -750 euros). Priplyusuem to the cost of their health insurance. We must arrange a visa. «Schengen» — to send a motorcycle from Europe. By the way, now Russian citizens to travel to Argentina for a period not exceeding 90 days within six months, a visa is not required, but in Chile would cost around 80 euros. For those who first participated in the «Dakar», ASO (Amaury Sport Organisation) organizes a two-day training — its symbolic value, but here for this trip to France is worth the money.
Do not save on health insurance. Here’s an instructive case, which occurred at the race in Egypt Sergei Povarova. At the «Rally of the Pharaohs» at one stage he fell and broke his arm. Got to the finish, the night was treated the next morning still came out on the next stage. At one site at a speed of 100 km / h did not notice the failure on a narrow road in the rocks. Sergei came to the earth, right knee torn up. He was flown to Paris.
— In the hospital «Salpetrie» I spent 70 days, endured three operations — recalls Sergei. — And I naively believed that our insurance will cover the cost of treatment. But it turned out that it was part payment only transportation riders in the country. Saved … Soon came through from Paris to 317,000 francs. That kind of money I did not have and never will be. By this time the sponsoring companies went bankrupt. The first time an insurance company each year, sent me this. Unpleasant — to be in debt …
It is to decide whether the need «essistans» — a car mechanic and technical assistance. In the «Dakar» There are three categories of participants: «pro», «lovers of Assistance» and «lovers without Assistance. Choosing the latter is due to economic reasons. Service motorcyclist involved in the «Dakar», costing an average of 6 to 13 thousand euros. We take from a mechanic, pay him a contribution as a human presence in the camp, its personal costs and services. At the site would have to find transport (rent a jeep), on which our mechanic will move during the race. But if you decide to do without this service, preparing to make himself a motorcycle service and repair every night in camp. In this case, the late finish — a luxury, which guarantees a sleepless night. So it is reasonable to seek the help of technicals, which also can carry many more spare parts and wheels. Yes, it will require no less than three sets of tires to get to the finish line. While the mechanic will do a motorcycle, the pilot has time to take a shower, eat, put up a tent, listen to a briefing to acquaint themselves with roudbukom next phase, to heal the trauma and, of course (most importantly) sleep. However, on the road will still have to rely only on our own forces — technical assistance vehicles going the other way.
In Europe, there are organizations that provide a full range of escort services, which includes: a car-technical worker, mechanic, motorcycle spare parts «open account» (the use of spare parts is not limited). This office is fully closes the technical issue. This is the easiest way, but also the most expensive. Pilot will only address administrative matters before the race and reach the finish line. It is «full board» about 60 thousand euros.
The financial issue resolved? Take care of their physical and special training. It is very important general endurance — run crosses, go to the gym, visit the pool. Be prepared for the fact that the first few days of the race usually do not top up, and only then begin to make rational use of time for rest (unless, of course, race day passes without falls and breakages). Cross training is valuable, but even if you’re a virtuoso in the motocross and enduro, as training for Dakar just need to take part in any accessible rally-raid-best in Morocco or Tunisia. The practice of driving on the sand is never superfluous to the same need to learn to navigate in «combat» conditions. During the movement will simultaneously see the road, to notice signs on the ground, to read information from the navigator and roudbuka. This rate should be appropriate, because all this to achieve, you should periodically look at the lower instruments. And the trail is not always visible to the extent required by the speed. The «mnogodnevschikov» there is an unwritten rule: «You see the road — gazuy not you see — not gazuy. However, even the aces of the off-road discipline is sometimes mistaken. Thus, the «Dakar-2002» was out of the three leaders of the factory KTM rider Cyril Depre — on a rocky road in Morocco, he was distracted for a split second on the instruments and flew into the ditch. Later Depre has twice won the «Dakar» (2005 and 2007), but at that time with a hip dislocation was taken to hospital by helicopter.
Be prepared for the fact that the fall could be damaged navigational equipment. In this case, you have to act according to circumstances. The main part of the race takes place on trails and dirt roads, but more complicated — the absolute absence of roads. You can wait for another party and follow him, or go on the trail, focusing on the raised dust ahead of reaching. But these traces is not an indication of the correct direction — participants can wander. Wandering in the «Dakar» had everything, even in such pilots as Marc Coma and Cyril Depre, for which the dunes — as a child’s sand pit near the house. Of course, I’ve lost, you can contact the command post of the race, who will unlock code GP5, but this would entail a three-hour penalty, and then (after an appeal for help for the fourth time) and withdrawal from the race. Riders who have been in such adaptations, they say, that the real panic sets in when there is a scarecrow race — «truck-sweeper,» gathers nowhere.
To pass the entire route of «Dakar» — already a feat. To do this, I need a good bike.
When Alexei Kolomytsyn and his teammate «Dream Team» Arno Jacquard going to Dakar, the first they got beushnye KTM 660, paying for each of 10 thousand euros. As the train passed Rally in Morocco. There every evening mechanic engaged in repair of motorcycles, and it became clear — these vehicles to the finish «Dakar» not dovezut. Then bought a new KTM 690 Rally Replica and additional attachments for mounting navigation devices (the price of the motorcycle 25 thousand euros, equipment for 4,000 euros). On this bike you can count on success — Dry weight 138 kg (kit — 180 lbs), Power 62 hp, rigid chassis, wide steps, three tank total volume of 32 liters, the container for drinking water to 3 liters. Normal cells in the wheels replaced with mousse (about pneumatic chambers and speech can not be!). After running had a full diagnosis of all nodes. As declared under the Russian flag, plant the orange motorcycles have replaced the Russian tricolor.
As the equipment for the rally is your regular Cross (and the better, the better), plus a jacket and a raincoat. Must — Knee — osustavy, protect the neck and «bug». All this will pull at least 2,000 euros.
So, we calculate the costs. Training trips to any rally does not count. Thus, participation in the «Dakar» will cost from 40 to 100 thousand euros. The scatter, as they say, «plus or minus a kilometer. But the skill, persistence and faith in victory — priceless. Who dares?
At the start of the last African «Dakar» came out more than 200 racers.