Originally Posted by neduro
As you say, it cuts both ways. The attention is a good thing, just the time zone issue means the days have to finish early, which I view as a shame.
Someone pointed out a few pages back that the quality of the field has been improving, and the quality of the bikes as well. Those are both good points to keep in mind when looking at attrition, 30% was for on-average less competitive riders on some real POS bikes.
In a modern world, there are many timezones to accommodate. It's an event put on by a French group so eh, maybe they have more of a say. Sort of like assigning penalty time and so forth. It'll always work out for them
As far as quality of rider/machine, that's been more apparent since the change to 450's so maybe it's also to do with the new restriction and the fact that a greater number of riders now choose KTM to start? Which shouldn't diminish the quality of entrant's improvement either.
Originally Posted by Deadly99
IMHO the bivouacs need to move away from the cities. It should become mandatory for each competitor to sleep in the bivouac, the whole hotel thing just rubs me the wrong way and widens the gap between pro's and amateurs. Place the bivouacs out in the sand, easy way to remove the RV's.
On the surface it seems quite easy to implement a few subtle changes that would help keep the Dakar spirit alive.
Change...hard to accept...
Russell Coutts likened watching America's Cup racing to watching paint dry. Which is true. Change came when Dennis Conner decided to up the ante with a catamaran. Now, you'll be watching a much more exciting race that should keep even a non-sailor interested. With change comes survival.
I do like the notion of bivouacs and tents and stuff. I think if you're well rested in comparison to your competition, you have gained an unfair advantage. To me, the 'spirit' of Dakar is more about overcoming and making do with what you have. Kind of like watching Charlie and Ewan wander across Mongolia. You'd see them sleeping in a tent--then realize there were a ton of people supporting them which took a bit away from the adventure of what you thought they were doing.