The Dakar

GRAEME SHARP IS THE FIRST ZIMBABWEAN RIDER TO FINISH THE DAKAR RALLY!

The Dakar Race

The adventure began back in 1977, when Thierry Sabine got lost on his motorbike in the Libyan desert during the Abidjan-Nice Rally. Saved from the sands in extremis, he returned to France still in thrall to this landscape and promising himself he would share his fascination with as many people as possible. He proceeded to come up with a route starting in Europe, continuing to Algiers and crossing Agadez before eventually finishing at Dakar. The founder coined a motto for his inspiration: "A challenge for those who go. A dream for those who stay behind."

Courtesy of his great conviction and that modicum of madness peculiar to all great ideas, the plan quickly became a reality. Since then, the Paris-Dakar, a unique event sparked by the spirit of adventure, open to all riders and carrying a message of friendship between all men, has never failed to challenge, surprise and excite. Over the course of almost thirty years, it has generated innumerable sporting and human stories. It is humbling to be the very first Zimbabwean to qualify for this event on a motorbike - see how you can be part of my journey here.

The greatest rally on earth!

  • The 2020 race was the 42nd edition of The Dakar Rally
  • Saudi Arabia will be the 30th country the rally is held in
  • 2nd largest motorsport event in the world
  • 5 categories of vehicles
  • 163 motorbikes competing
  • 60 nationalities
The Dakar 2020 route

My Results

I finished! I feel honoured and privileged to be the very first Zimbabwean rider to complete the Dakar Rally on a motorbike. I hope there will be many more riders from Zimbabwe after me!

The DAKAR RALLY 2020

A daily recap of this epic adventure!

The Bike

KTM 450 Rally Replica

The Rally Bike is based on the KTM 500 EXC platform. The navigation tower, additional fuel capacity (22L) emergency water reservoir (3L), suspension upgrades and minor gearing changes are the only alterations to the original machine. For the Dakar in 2020 Graeme rode a KTM 450 Rally Replica - a bike that makes up over 70% of the field.

The Team

I was part of the well-known BAS Dakar KTM Racing Team for the Dakar Rally in 2020, which had some of the most talked-about riders of the race, including Ross Branch, aka the "Kalahari Ferrari" from Botswana and Kirstin Landman, from South Africa and their top Female Rider.

A lot of credit for getting me to the finish must be given to the BAS Dakar KTM Racing team. Behind every success there is almost always an armada of ordinary people, doing extraordinary things, the unsung heroes of everyday life who come together when it counts and get the job done! The BAS team is just that - an ordinary bunch of guys from Boekel in the Netherlands, who every January head off into some wild, dusty foreign land for two of the most intense, adventurous and crazy weeks imaginable - always with a smile and complete professionalism. They operate on minimum sleep, work to the early hours, sleep in tiny dusty tents and often drive 700 plus kilometres every day to meet us riders, day in day out for 2 weeks! Bart, Gwen, Jos, Leon, Thimo, Paul, Wes and Mariska - well done on providing a factory level service that felt like family.

Bas Team copy
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