Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Women in Dakar with greater emphasis on Bikes

(Translation by Google)


December 28, 2010



SANTIAGO - The participation of women in the Dakar Rally, a competition largely dominated by men, has more merit when it is in the difficult category of motorcycles, "said the Swede Annie Seel, female winner in the field.


In the past Dakar Seel, who holds the record for reaching the end of each race in which she participated, finished in first place in women's category, while in the overall standings finished in 45th place, despite dropping her motorbike in a hole and narrowly escaping it herself as she launched across.


The Swedish raidista said that the stakes are higher for their gender when competing on bikes than in cars, a category in which the German Jutta Kleinschmidt remains today as the only woman to have won the Dakar after her victory in 2001 aboard a Mitsubishi vehicle.


"Racing in cars and a motorcycle is totally different, you cannot compare the two categories. I think women can win in cars, but winning a motorcycle is much more difficult," Seel told Reuters by telephone.


"The motorcycle requires more physically demanding. Everyone can drive a car, even if you're small or not very strong, but on the bike you need muscle and strength," the raidista, who in 2004 achieved a gold medal in women 's 450 cc world championship rally.


Seel was launched in Dakar in 2002. Since then adds 17 shares in competition for the world championship road, with no record of ever leaving a career in which he participated.


"I hope more women can participate in the rally, but need to be strong. I hope you have a South American woman in this race," said 42-year competitor.


In Dakar, 2010, Seel had overcome a hard fall that seriously injured one of her hands and was about to leave her out of competition.


'In the Dakar can never be sure that you will win or finish the race, because it is the kind of competition where anything can happen, "said Seel, who in 2004 emerged as the first" Iron Woman "of history, competition extreme physical demands.


In the past Dakar, while, 187 machines reached the goal of 362 vehicles that started the race.


Team to beat


For the new edition of the event, which runs from 01 January to 16 January for the third consecutive year in Argentina and Chile, Dakar organization reported enrollment of 443 vehicles, of which 13 will be piloted by women in different categories.


Seel said that among the latter are raised as major competitors in the bike category Dutch Mirjam Pol


"Mirjam Pol is a very good driver, very strong, and excellent condition as navigator," said the Rally Princess.


The Swede also said the conditions of Spanish Laia Sanz, who has 10 titles as world champion in trial and will debut in the race accompanied by veteran Jordi Arcarons as his water carrier.


"She has been world champion in trial many times during these recent years has practiced for the Dakar with Jordi Arcarons, who was the coach for Marc Coma and has been six times in the Dakar podium (with four runners-up)," she added.

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