“Shakedowns are complete, bike is great thanks to my mechanic Joe,” Toby says on his Facebook page. Leave a word of encouragement on his page!
We wish Toby the best of luck when he kick-starts his title defence tomorrow (5 January 2020) and will be watching on SBS every evening for the daily updates (check local times).
Because of the time difference, SBS will show the day’s highlights more than 24 hours later. That means the Sunday start will screen on Monday night.
However, Motorbike Writer will supply daily updates every morning on Toby and the other Aussie competitors.
However, a lot of the interest in the Dakar Rally over the years has been the travelogue as the riders pass through different countries, amazing scenery and a wide variety of conditions.
The Paris-Dakar Rally started in 1978 and in the early days, they had rainy and muddy conditions in Europe before heading into north-west Africa, through dunes and harsh country, finishing at Dakar, Senegal.
In 2008, the event was cancelled because of terrorist threats in Muslim Mauritania.
The following year it reconvened in South America where it has passed through five different countries and a variety of conditions.
Despite the change of location to just one country, Saudi Arabia, the organisers said it still retain the “Dakar tradition”, so the name remained.
We hope so, but it’s hardly a Dakar tradition anymore with Saudi money stealing it from South America.
Dakar organiser ASO signed a five-year deal with the tainted nation criticised for human rights violations including the murder of American newspaper reporter Jamal Khashoggi.
The Muslim nation also has a poor record on its treatment of women which could have been an issue with the rally organisers as many women now compete.