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Dakar Heroes 2017: Stage 06

The latest Dakar Heroes installment is a testament to the toughness and unforgiving nature of the famous rally. For those just tuning in, these videos tend to run a day behind for editing purposes, plus Stage 06 was cancelled due to a powerful weather system that moved in and flooded the area. But even the Stage 05 footage used in this video helps to illustrate the harshness of the Dakar, since Stage 05 was shortened when heavier-than-expected rains began to flood the lowlands.

Dakar 2017 SAM SUNDERLAND.
Dakar is alternating beauty, boredom, and impossible challenge. Trouble is, you never know what is over the next dune. Photo Eric Vargiolu. © A.S.O.

While Lyndon Poskitt’s opening video is usually the immediate highlight of every Dakar Heroes video, this time it is #132 Joey Evans that steals the scene. Paralyzed in a 2007 crash, the South African has fought so much to simply regain the use of his legs, let alone compete in the toughest race in the world. While he sits 102nd overall in the bike category, he ranks at the top of the order for Dakar courage. His segment begins at 3:40 and sums up the spirit of Dakar in an almost accidental way. It starts out mundane, with Joey talking to us from the medical truck about a knee injury and the usual pain meds and bracing. Then it cuts to the obligatory “standing around in bad weather” as Evans chats with fellow South African David Thomas (#76).

Rather suddenly, we then find ourselves on the race course with Evans and medical staff. Of all the desert he could have been racing through, Joey Evans came across the accident scene of his friend David Thomas. How quickly a day can change our lives.

Dakar remains a must-see event each year because of the way it encapsulates life inside its two week schedule. The boredom, the challenge, the absurdity, the triumph, and the blink-of-an-eye changes that guide our lives while we tell ourselves there is fate in random chance. We continue to ascribe meaning to things that make little sense, because we need to make sense of things. Or, perhaps there is sense in the randomness and we simply can’t grasp it? The mind can argue in circles for a lifetime.

Jump in head-first my fellow Speeders and witness the inner layers of the world that is Dakar:

Written by Johnny Killmore

Johnny Killmore is a Formula sidecar and motorcycle racer who lives in the Bay Area of California. Fascinated at a young age by machines, Johnny is most comfortable at race tracks, garages, or far away places astride a motorcycle. Having cultivated a life revolving around speed, racing is a natural extension of that.

Johnny is also a great story teller so it follows naturally that he would share his adventures and report on the adventures of others. Having formally studied journalism, art, and agriculture, Johnny uses the visual and literary arts to bring to life the challenges, risks, and rewards of living a life at speed.

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