Kirsten Landman returning to Dakar Rally in 2025

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Credit: Frederic Le Floc'h/ASO

After medical problems forced Kirsten Landman to sit out the 2024 Dakar Rally, she hopes to make her third start in 2025. Like in her first two races, she will compete solo in the Original by Motul category.

Landman was sidelined for January’s Dakar after contracting COVID-19 during the 2023 edition, followed by being diagnosed with pulmonary embolism that prevented her from riding for much of the winter. She was later cleared for enduro events like Red Bull Romaniacs and the Tennessee Knockout Enduro, winning the Women’s Pro category at the latter. This was encouraging enough to plan a Dakar return in 2024, but she ultimately called it off in November as she felt her body was not yet fully prepared for such a challenging race.

A positive COVID-19 test had prevented her from racing the Dakar in 2022.

“Last year presented me with some of the toughest mental and physical challenges I’ve ever faced,” said Landman. “It was heartbreaking not to stand on the start line in 2024 knowing how much I want to be there and achieve an even stronger result.

“The Dakar Rally isn’t just a race for me. It’s where I feel most alive, where I challenge myself beyond limits, and where I continue to chase my dreams. As one of the few women in this sport, I’m not just racing for myself—I’m racing for every girl out there who dreams of defying expectations.”

She finished fifty-fifth overall and third among women at her Dakar début in 2020. In 2023, she was twelfth in Original by Motul and forty-eighth in the broader Rally2 class with a best finish of eleventh in Stage #5.

Also known as Malle Moto, Original by Motul is an amateur category that forbids riders from having assistance from teams.

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Justin is not an off-road racer, but he writes about it for The Checkered Flag.
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