Racing a Dakar is difficult, finishing a Dakar is very difficult, winning a Dakar seems impossible, winning the Dakar 14 times sounds unimaginable. However, French Stéphane Peterhansel has achieved it. His last crown was achieved in the 2021 edition of the legendary test that once again had Saudi Arabia as a stage.
His success does nothing but increase his legend and ratify the nickname of Lord Dakar you received a long time ago. Though It could well be called as God Dakar for that dominance that has been maintained over time.
Since he achieved his first success in 1991 on motorcycles they have passed three decades and it is difficult to find another athlete in the world that has maintained its validity for so long.
ADAPTATION, A KEY
Peterhansel, 55, has shown that he adapted to the challenges that the race presented him at this time. At the end of his stage in motorcycles, he was also competitive in cars, either with simple or 4 × 4 traction; when the race stopped Africa and went to South America, in a totally different environment, he also managed to stand out. And the same during the arrival of the competition to the Saudi territory.
To this we must add that added speed to his technique management from the prominence of Spanish Carlos Sainz and the qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah, who contributed to the positions being defined by seconds when before they were won by minutes. And another detail: no matter who your navigator is, he has always known how to adapt to the person with whom he has shared the vehicles.
"Why do I come back every year? It's a question of passion ”, He said before starting this Dakar, the 33rd in his sporting campaign. “The Dakar is really a special race. It is not just motor racing… It is motor racing, but in the most beautiful places in the world. That is the key, it is never the same. You can run in the same country, but not exactly in the same place, not on the same roads… That's really interesting, ”he assured.
But how long will we see Peterhansel in action? He himself has the answer: “10 or 15 years ago I said that maybe I would do one or two Dakar or more and I'm still here…”.
ALL THE WINS OF STÉPHANE PETERHANSEL IN THE DAKAR
|1991||Motorcycle||Yamaha YZE 750|
|1992||Motorcycle||Yamaha YZE 850T|
|1993||Motorcycle||Yamaha YZE 850T|
|1995||Motorcycle||Yamaha YZE 850T|
|1997||Motorcycle||Yamaha YZE 850T|
|1998||Motorcycle||Yamaha YZE 850T|
|2004||Car||Mitsubishi Montero Evolution|
|2005||Car||Mitsubishi Montero Evolution|
|2007||Car||Mitsubishi Montero Evolution|
|2016||Car||Peugeot 2008 DKR|
|2018||Car||Peugeot 3008 DKR Maxi|
|2021||Car||MINI John Cooper Works Buggy|