Rally Dakar 2017 | Surprise in Bolivia
My stories / 19. April 2017
During the race, each rider has his supporters, but there are even more spectators being attracted by fast motorbikes and the rally itself. And there are many of them! They use to stand along roads, scream and serve water. They encourage all riders to complete the challenging race.
“People applauded and encouraged us, especially in Bolivia. They were standing along the main roads as we passed through neutralization zones in several stages.”
One big surprise was waiting for Števo in this year’s race. In the city of La Paz in Bolivia, he found someone unexpected at his bivouac.
“Completely by coincidence, I met a bunch of people, who helped me in the city of Uyuni in Bolivia during the Dakar a few years ago. When I fell, I bent my handlebars and had problems with steering. Because it was a long marathon stage, I knew that I had to continue. I was looking for anybody along the road to help me and give me handlebars from his motorbike. When I saw a group of people, for about 15 minutes, I tried to convince them to sell me the handlebars from their motorbike. Finally, I persuaded them, and they gave me the handlebars for free.”
When Števo arrived at the bivouac, organizers did not allow him to mount the handlebars on his motorcycle and took them away from him. During the marathon stage, riders can not have spare parts from any other people, but from other riders in the starting field.
“Rivals would not help me for sure; it was nevertheless competition. The organizers told me that I should straighten my handlebars, but I did not try to do so because I was afraid I would break them. When people that helped me came to see me this year, they did not want any money. I thanked them for support and gave them at least my jersey in remembrance.”
Števo has his supporters even beyond the borders of Slovakia. They were waiting for him and, of course, they desired to take a picture with him and wanted his autograph. There was a lot to see. Fast motorbikes and riders were there only and only for the fans.