Tuareg Rallye 2013 - #317 Jean-Luc Solans (team IYSK Wines) - final summary report
“Great memories will stay...”
Jean-Luc is foremost an accomplished adventure rider, who makes no secret of the fact that his dream has always been to take part in the Dakar Rally. His participation in the Tuareg Rallye served two purposes - essentially to see if he was personally cut out for more competitive off-road riding, together with familiarizing himself with the more practical elements such as roadbook navigation, timekeeping and other rally specific administration.
“The first day I admit I felt very much out of my depth” he confides “The [soft] sand was exceptionally difficult to ride through, and I began to question what on earth I was doing here!”
Fortunately the second day featured far firmer ground, defined tracks and more open terrain, which particularly suited his 690cc KTM Enduro bike. “I was far more comfortable riding in that sort of environment” he says “It was very similar to what I am used to riding back in the USA” and certainly his 5th place stage result illustrated a marked increase in confidence.
Despite this being his first roadbook rally, Jean-Luc quickly got to grips with the tulip style diagrams and information provided, and was able to navigate quickly and efficiently while making good progress. “Each day I felt more and more comfortable” he says “Which helped to confirm that I did indeed have the stamina for this sort of racing.”
After a personal highlight of racing against the backdrop of the Star Wars movie set, the following day Jean-Luc suffered a minor accident that unfortunately resulted in a broken ankle. “I fell awkwardly” he explains “Because of my [previous] leg injury, I had not done the buckles on my boot up especially tightly, and it’s possible that contributed” he muses.
Despite having to withdraw and miss the final two days, Jean-Luc remains optimistic: “The rally was a fantastic experience for me - just to ride in Tunisia, with great friends, the challenge of the terrain and the spirit of competition - I enjoyed everything about it!” he smiles. “I would especially like to thank my wife Vanina who supported me throughout -despite having concerns I might hurt myself; and of course my sponsors Talend and If You See Kay Wines without whom I would not have been able to take part in the first place.”
“Of course I am a little disappointed that my rally ended in this way - but I’m certain the injury will be quickly forgotten, while the great memories will stay!”
results #332 Jean-Luc Solans (FRA) - class: Moto Amateur
Day 1: 18th
Day 2: 5th
Day 3: timing suspended
Day 4: 46th
Day 5: 50th (DNF injury)
Day 6: 44th (DNS injury)
Day 7: 47th (DNS injury)
52nd Overall (MA)