[News]

Legend Laia Sanz: 11 Consecutive Dakar Finishes!

4 months ago | Words: Andy Wigan | Photos: GASGAS Motorcycles

A month ago, as the Dakar Rally kicked off for the second time in Saudi Arabia, we warned not to bet against the likelihood that GASGAS female rider, Laia Sanz, would finish her 11th consecutive Dakar Rally. And guess what? She did it! Despite coming into the gruelling race underprepared after contracting the potentially fatal Lyme Disease midway through 2020, the 35-year-old Spaniard not only finished her 11th consecutive Dakar (all 11 times as the highest-placed female rider), but she also ran a very credible 17th Overall in the final standings in what was widely regarded as one of the toughest Dakars ever.

Here are a few excerpts from the recent GASGAS PR that reflected on this Spanish legend’s accomplishment at the 2021 Dakar Rally…

Adding another astonishing chapter to her remarkable career, GASGAS Factory Racing’s Laia Sanz has successfully completed her 11th consecutive Dakar Rally. Saving her best until last by claiming 17th on the final stage, Laia not only brought the super-challenging event to an emotional and positive close, but again underlined her position as a true Dakar legend.

Laia Sanz: “I’m just super-happy to finish. It wasn’t that long ago that we didn’t know if we would even be here, so to ride up onto the podium at the finish … yeah, it’s just incredible. With what has been happening in the world this year, it makes this one a little more special. My approach to the rally worked for me; riding a safe and manageable pace and I just wanted to reach the finish. I felt really good after the rest day so I could push a little more and ended the rally strong. My team has been amazing. Supporting me the whole time and my bike was perfect all race. So, thanks to them I’m so happy to complete another Dakar!”

Finishing this year’s Dakar proved to be challenging for all riders, very much including Laia. With the goal of simply completing this year’s rally, having had very little time to properly prepare for the event after contracting Lyme Disease last summer, the Spanish ace did exactly what she set out to achieve. Opting for a steady pace through the opening week, Laia reached the mid-race rest day without any major mistakes.

After a much-needed day of recovery and relative relaxation, Laia felt much more confident in her physical ability to complete the event. Picking up her pace as the end of the rally drew nearer, the ‘Queen of the Desert’ went on to deliver her very best stage result on the final day of racing, earning a 17th place finish. Following a highly positive end to her Dakar, Sanz moved up to 17th in the final standings.

Jordi Viladoms – GASGAS Rally Team Manager: “It’s just amazing for Laia to complete another Dakar Rally. Coming back from her illness last year, we really didn’t know what to expect and the plan was to take it day by day. Completing the rally, her finishing record is now 11 in a row, a truly remarkable achievement. This year was an especially tough Dakar, one of the toughest for quite some time, but every day she fought hard. I’m really proud of her for what she has achieved.”

2021 Dakar Rally – Overall Classification

1. Kevin Benavides (Honda) 47:18:14
2. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 47:23:10
3. Sam Sunderland (KTM) 47:34:11
17. Laia Sanz (GASGAS) 51:07:48

Be the first to comment...

You might also like...

News

6 days ago

2021 AORC: Let’s Use The ‘O-Word’ Again

With an all-new TV package and ding-dong racing, the 2021 AORC is on fire. But who’s doing what in the Outright? Glad you asked.

News

2 weeks ago

2021 Transmoto 8-Hour at Stroud: Highlights Video

So damn good to be ripping around with our mates at the sixth annual Transmoto 8-Hour at Stroud.

News

3 weeks ago

2021 Transmoto 8-Hour at Stroud: Results

How’d you stack up against your mates at the 2021 Transmoto 8-Hour at Stroud, NSW? Find out the race results here…

Thor

3 weeks ago

Cooper Webb’s 2021 SX Title – What You Didn’t Know!

Seven fascinating stats behind Cooper Webb’s 2021 AMA 450SX title win. How many did you know?

Husqvarna

3 weeks ago

First Look: Husqvarna 2022 Enduro Range

Husqvarna’s 2022 enduro range gets all-new brakes, clutch, tyres and graphics, plus fresh suspension settings.

Features

3 weeks ago

KTM’s Adventure Models: A Short History

The arrival of KTM’s all-new 890 Adventure R prompts us to reflect on the Austrian brand’s ‘Adventure’-model history.

News

1 month ago

2021 East Coast MX: Round 1 Recap

Catch up on all the action from the re-scheduled Round 1 of the 2021 East Coast MX series.

KTM

1 month ago

KTM 890 Adv R vs KTM 790 Adv R

With more grunt, even better suspension and a refined electronics package, KTM’s 890 Adv R takes a big step forward.