Laia Sanz is approaching her eighth Dakar Rally with the aim of finishing inside the top fifteen for a third consecutive year, and she’ll be once again backed by the might of KTM, who have sixteen consecutive bike victories in the event.
The Spaniard expects a difficult time across the fourteen stages this month, and despite many feeling the opening week in the sand dunes of Peru will be difficult, she is more worried about the gruelling second week, which takes into account altitude in Bolivia and heat in Argentina.
“A difficult Dakar is expected this year, with a lot of racing at high altitudes,” said Sanz. “In the beginning the dunes of Peru will be very demanding and, in the end, it will be the heat in Argentina, I have trained more on a motorcycle than in other years and I think I have worked out better. Let’s see how the Dakar goes.
“First we have to finish, which is always very difficult at the Dakar, but well, I am competitive and what I want is to do it well. For now, the target is to be among the top 15. If the race goes well, I will try to improve and finish as high as possible.
“The first week will be very tough, because there is a complicated dune area, but what scares me more is the second week, because there are two marathon stages and we also reach the Bolivian altitudes, which will be very demanding. In the latter stages we will face the heat in Argentina, so we know they will be very hard.”