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Extreme Specialist Chris Birch For Dakar
Extreme Specialist Birch Challenges First Dakar Rally
You may have missed this one. Way down towards the bottom of the entries, number 110, is the entry of Memo Tours/Alfie Cox Team rider Chris Birch. The “Kiwi via South Africa” rider is perhaps best known for his Roof of Africa wins. This will be his first try at the Dakar. But with training from Dakar legend Cox, he probably has a pretty good head start on the program. Here are a couple of quick quotes and links:
Three-time winner of the Roof of Africa, a South African Enduro champion and Red Bull Romaniacs 2010 champion, Chris Birch now takes on the biggest of all off-road rallies, the Dakar. Having moved from New Zealand to South Africa to really prepare for the Dakar, the rider was able to count on the tips of South African legend Alfie Cox. Birch certainly has the qualities to one day become a title contender, yet he doesn’t want to get carried away and need to live the experience. His first mission: to finish the Dakar.
“Having done many other rallies, the Dakar is the ultimate race, a huge challenge. You can’t say no to that. Now the Dakar is a lot different to extreme enduro which I normally do. It’s actually quite surreal that it’s happening. I really understood that while training in the dunes of Namibia. I’ll have to get used to the speed. Riding isn’t an issue; the biggest challenge is the length of the event and the lack of sleep. The main ambition is to finish. I first want to see how it goes during the first four or five days, and then I’ll see if I can make it to the Top 20. …”
“I fly out to Argentina tonight, have been doing a last ditch effort to pile on the weight before I go so that I have something to lose! Luckily we had a very nice Christmas day with a ridiculous amount of food so I am feeling pretty good.
I’ll be in touch with Mon as often as possible (she has made me promise at least a minute each night by satellite phone!) and she will update everyone as soon as she hears from me.
Thank you to everyone for the messages of support over the last few weeks, it has been great to see that there are a lot of people around the world cheering me on!
And while you enjoy the New Year, remember this number: 8,373 – the number of kilometres covered between Mar del Plata and Lima, with 4,406 kilometres’ worth of special stages for motorcycles! Suddenly a 23km test doesn’t seem bad at all…” via http://www.chrisbirch.co.nz/