This probably should go in 'Yo Momma' but imho Dakar has now officially lost its glory for me.
It seems more like a glorified offroad trip then anything else to me. The longest days was 5 hours riding for the top guys (the offroad part) and the all other days were finished in 3 and a half hours of dirt riding. The rest of their time was spent on tarmac.
Being three times slower then the top guys I might even make the next bivvy before sunset.
Local (Dutch) enduro riders that ran this years Dakar (first time entries) told me that they ran the course with 2 fingers in their noses (Dutch expression for 'easy') as they were expecting the worst. Turned out that they were taking it a little to easy every day being afraid of a course that didnt give them much hassle at all.
What percentage did finish this year? 60% or more?
Hell, I cant ride for $%^& but if it goes on like this even I might attempt a 2 week pleasure trip in SA. WiFi at the gasstations, wont need a roadbook or roadbook skills, just follow your GPS and off I go. Fill up on BBQ and Beers along the track, the odd empenada and a fresh tyre every 2nd day because of all the tarmac. Wont even need a fancy Dakar bike with roadbook tower, just give me that tiny GPS unit and a 24 liter front tank on an enduro and off I go.
Back to AFRICA and a sub 30% finish rate!
(no disrespect to the ones that did take on the challenge as I do know what people have had to endure to even make it to the start).