THE AFRICAN RAID!
It was around the year 2008, when the Dakar moved from Africa to South America, following which the Africa Eco Race promised to fill in the gap, letting participants experience the old Dakar route spanning close to 8,000km. Hundreds of rallyists, both professional and amateur, participate in this 11-stage rally which puts them through the vast deserts and harshest terrain.
This year, veteran rally rider, Ashish Raorane endured all odds, including being diagnosed with dengue just a few days before he flew to Monaco for the flag-off, to compete in the 2020 edition. A marine engineer by profession, Ashish managed to hold his ground in the beginning with his strongest finish being 17th place. However, minor errors in navigation caused him to lose time in a few of the stages. In the eighth stage he spent the night in the dunes due to a technical failure with the bike for which he was awarded a sevenhour penalty. He was picked up by the sweep truck early next day and could only take the start once his bike (which was on another truck) was back at the bivouac, which meant his next start was stage 11 where he finished 51st putting him in 57th overall, which despite his health conditions and setbacks, is highly respectable for a private entrant with no factory backing.