Dakar 1986, in the desert every promise is a debt

In the desert, every promise is debt and Gilles Picard is the unfortunate and disciplined victim. Here's how they went about facts: the front fork by Gianpaolo Marinoni broke out and with her all the oil. Then his Cagiva collapses on the suspension when it touches the ground after the jumps and goes to "package" so much that the oil filter located under the carter arrives at Earth and breaks in turn. Mad he must stop, and then even Picard, who respects his role as gregarious.

Beppe Gaulini racing with a private Elefant

Beppe Gaulini racing with a private Elefant

But Gilles has oil and Gianpaolo should expect the Landrover quick assistance team Lucky Explorer then set off with the knife between his teeth. A little’ later breaks a wheel and his friend Beppe Gauri, riding a Cagiva Private, stops to give him his, remaining in Cagiva support response that will supply you with spare parts, allowing Gilles to leave and continue his race with ambitions of ranking. Is an expensive gift because the medium of quick service passes without seeing Gauri who is stopped on the track. Beppe is able to spread much later but will be sanctioned with a ten hour penalty for arriving after the closing of the control time of arrival.

Happy goes to complain from the official Cagiva team manager who promises him that if necessary will be identical to that of support riders. And indeed the fate promptly puts it to the test, the 6 January Gauri breaks a wheel and stops Picard who finished well in the standings, twenty-third. The pact must be respected and the gregarious must give up his wheel to Gauri, located at the bottom of the League. The face of the poor Gilles, losing an hour in maneuver, perfectly expresses the torments of the water carrier.

Taken from: The last tree of Paris Dakar by Jean Him Roy – Vertical Sea Edition

Pierre Marie Poli Dakar 1986

Dakar 1986, the race is tough even before you start!

After the euphoria at the start of Paris, the respite is short-lived, and waking up even heavier, on the national road number 20. The bikers act as pilot whales and huddle in the wakes of cars and trucks, glued to the tail lights. So says Pierre-Marie Poli, the leader of the bike after the prologue of Cergy: "The outside of the visor is frozen and the Interior tarnished. Then I open the visor, and, because I'm short sighted, ice is formed immediately outside the de lenses-glasses that fog up inside… Then lower the visor, also because I'm cold, and I've got four layers opaque before my eyes. The only solution is to stick behind a truck assistance, so do I 150 kilometers; When I only see a stop sign means I'm too close, When I see them both means I'm too far. Certain that if he entered a parking lot would have followed without hesitation. The only drawback is that uphill limps a bit. '

The result is that Parker has arrived with only five minutes to spare on eighteen times permitted to run the 1.100 kilometers of the stage. As usual Thierry follows the Caravan for personal pleasure, to soak up the atmosphere always warmer and to gather strong impressions. For cars and trucks, the situation is much more comfortable, If the heating system is not dismounted, as it happens normally in the case of prototypes. The copilots rival outwit to combat fogging invading windshield, breathe in turn is hardly a solution to adopt.

Fennel He brought with him a hairdryer that attached to the cigarette lighter works wonders, but the first prize for the year's Eve tale goes to Jean-Christophe Pelletier (Ed. You may recall his participation at 1981 aboard a Rolls Royce), with one of those stories that much like Thierry: with six Dakar on the assets side and four arrivals on the beach, two cars and two motorcycles, Jean-Christophe is one of the most experienced of the Group. First difficulties already closed Park of Versailles, the day of the prologue, with his Yamaha that refuses to boot.

On top of that came the snow, Although not required by Thierry. Somehow manages to reach Cergy and back with difficulty, plagued by a set of problems of ignition and carburetion. On January 1, the engine stalls under the walkway of the via. Delayed and 7 kilometers south of Limoges, the motor stops permanently. It's seven o'clock in the evening, It is night, It's cold, it rains. His means of support is ahead, because the trucks are left for the first, at seven in the morning. Suddenly two youngsters of sixteen emerge from the Woods and tell him: «But she is one of the Paris – Dakar! Push up to our farm, We have tools.»

As fortune never comes alone, a car stops across the street and down a gentleman with a Toolbox: "I am a mechanic of Motobécane in Limoges, the shelter the bike. ' He had a white beard and red jacket… Push the bike to a kilometer in the fields and take her in the stable. On the left there are some sheep, one of which is even giving birth, right of carts, and in the midst of this yellow and black beast, under the bright eyes of two young boys with red cheeks, who spent the day at the roadside to watch remove all those monsters covered in stickers. The mechanic gets down to business, disassemble the carburetor and after an hour and a half is a flake of paint of the tank into the Bowl.

It's eight thirty at night and Jean-Christophe still has eight hours to get to Sète, under 700 kilometers of rain. Replacement lightning and tense atmosphere in the barn, under a dim light. Despite dozens of rounds of crank there is nothing to do, the bike will not turn on. There is an electric wire of mass that generates a short circuit but the mechanic, representative of Motul in the region and former air hostess, can't find it. At ten is the surrender, There is no longer any chance of arriving on time. New year's fairy tale might end like this, Sadly, What about the two guys invite Jean-Christophe to get into the House. His clothes are drying around the stove and on the table covered with oilcloth show of the dishes a more inviting than the other: smoked salmon, Turkey and other delights. Are the leftovers of the vigil and the motorcyclist disappointed and exhausted you can binge without restraint, telling stories of Paris – Dakar kids who listen to him spellbound.

Taken from The last tree of Paris Dakar by Jean Him Roy published by Edizioni Sea Vertical


1986 – A Dakar unfortunate for Serge Bacou

Once again bad luck hit Serge Bacou, and without waiting for the Ténéré, this time. Tamanrasset and Iférouane, the road book indicates the presence of a deep groove. L ’ previous year Marinoni racing was terminated at that point. Hubert Auriol l ’ saw on his roller but…

Snowy prologue for the Dakar caravan 1986

Snowy prologue for the Dakar caravan 1986

«I arrived very fast, in 120 or 130 kilometers all ’ now, l ’ I saw too late. I flew to at least two metres, for a moment I also believed to be able to recover, Instead the front wheel is planted and did a fall from the bike fell on me fearing judoka.»

7 France's motocross Championship titles (1971 classe 250, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1976 e 1977 class 500 and 13 stages won in 8 Dakar in which he participated.

7 France's motocross Championship titles (1971 class 250, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1976 and 1977 class 500 and 13 stages won in 8 Dakar in which he participated.

Just returned to standing, Hubert gesticulates to warn Cyril Neveu following him closely. Retrieves the bike and starts up again. Shortly after also Gaston Rahier is a victim of the double ditch. Stays ashore woozy and meanwhile appears the great Serge pushing at the most trying in this way to bridge l ’ handicap of power of his Yamaha Thumper in this stage fast. Like those that preceded it de-glue and falls ill, remaining ashore square leg. Rahier recovers and rushes to rescue him and Serge informs him:
"I have the broken femur.»
You won't be ’ to win the eighth Dakar Bacou…

The reputation of the Ténéré, one of the world's most impressive deserts, is justified. "The sand is soft, very compact, much more difficult of ’ last year. Some obstacles are hidden by the dunes which run continuously to the wind. Don't miss the track, Please don't turn away; Don't miss d ’ eye.»
Thierry Sabine clarifies the Wiles of leg while not wishing to overdramatise the situation.

Baron 1986-1

The tragic fate of Jean Michel Baron

L’ 11 January 1986 He went ahead with a stage ending 590 kilometers by road to Zinder and all competitors have witnessed a terrible scene about ten kilometers after Nguigmi: Jean-Michel Baron, already sore at dock for more than five days, lying on the ground on its side. Her face is swollen and my knee popped, and is unconscious; his Honda 750 is several dozen meters away. All competitors stopped to rescue him. Jean-Claude Olivier cuts the suit with the knife to allow him to breathe and stay with him several hours to clean wounds. Meanwhile Gaston Rahier and Jacky Ickx will return to their departure for phoning. Emergency beacons are activated. Unfortunately the three helicopters are grounded. Three hours after doctors Florence Bonnel and Alain Lamour onboard doctor turn away from sands of the special and come to the aid of Jean-Michel. Doctors assess the severity of injury: coma stage II, knee injury with deep wound, right elbow smashed, facial fracture. You turn then the Organization for major emergencies.

Jean Michel Baron

Jean Michel Baron

Thierry Sabine takes off immediately with the helicopter piloted by Francis-Xavier Bagnoud to transport the wounded to Nguigmi. Patrick Fourticq, Thirty-nine years, Commander of Air France in addition to rally African protagonist as pilot, take the controls of a Cessna and rushes to Nguigmi with Drs. Marianne Fleury and Alan Jones on board. Roger Kalmanowitz alert SOS Assistance in Geneva which guarantees a Lear Jet for two in the morning in Zinder. The Cessna you bury it immediately after landing, then Fourticq caters to the airstrip, that turns out to be a former student pilot.

Preparing reports for the helicopter that has not arrived yet, because it had to refuel. The casualty is then loaded on the Cessna and you have to be able to take off. It takes seven men for disinsabbiare the plane. The police car is placed at the beginning of the runway with headlights on and two men with torches are the distances. Fourticq launches the plane and manages to emerge out of the sand and take off. Two hours after the Cessna landed at Zinder. Dr. Lapendry, Head of the medical team of the Embassy, has already prepared everything: the modest sick bay of the small airport was transformed into a surgical unit. "We had to perform surgery Protocol: It was necessary to clean wounds and surgical check to preserve future organ function.»

Claude Lapendry, together with Jacques Azorin and Olivier Aubry opera the knee, the elbow and face of Jean-Michel Baron, inserting catheters in different vital organs in light of neon. The scene of these men in green, masked, that will be around one of them to try and tear him to death in the depths of the desert is unreal, almost fairytale. the night, at the bivouac, contestants parade one after another, with images accumulated shortly before at the side of the road in southern Niger still imprinted at the bottom of the eyes. When they arrive at the Africatours truck to get some food you vent. "I told him last night to stop. It was no longer appropriate to continue, had too much pain in the pelvis. "

Is Gilles Picard, his teammate to Cagiva speaking, slowly, softly, as if you could go back in time. «For several hours, in the break of the race, I wondered what we were doing here and if it were the case continuing.»
Gérard Tilliette has a Boulder on the chest. Would still be allocated all the next day, towards the 205 kilometers of pitfalls between Tahoua and Talcho, before you indulge in the pleasure of a day of rest in Niamey. In the night the jet carried Baron to Paris, toward civilization, to a specialist clinic.
Ed: Unfortunately Baron never recovered from this accident, He remained in a vegetative coma until his death on 7 September 2010.

taken from: The last tree of Paris Dakar by Jean Luc Roy published by Vertical Sea Edition


Balestrieri 1986-3

Hau and Crossbowmen Dakar 1986

Heddy Hau chasing a leathery Vinod B on the podium in the final standings of the Dakar 1986.

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J.C. Olivier Dakar 1986

J.C. Olivier in mechanical version, working on Yamaha 600 to Charbonnier during the Dakar 1986.

Nakamura 1986

Hiroshi Nakamura Dakar 1986

From rising sun with courage and honour: Hiroshi Nakamura in a surreal landscape during the prologue of Dakar 1986.

Nakamura 1986

Hiroshi Nakamura Dakar 1986

From rising sun with courage and honour: Hiroshi Nakamura in a surreal landscape during the prologue of the Dakar 1986.


1986 – Thierry Sabine, the visionary of the Paris-Dakar

There is a tree – just one – that sits atop a small dune full Ténéré. They say it's an acacia: the twisted trunk, fatigued by the years and by a climate impossible, the Deadwood, twisted, prosthesis like skeleton hands towards the sky. It seems almost begging an unlikely rain that would give some relief to his unquenchable thirst. Yet the plant survives, in spite of all logic, on the edge of the track that, across the desert, colleague Iferouane at Chirfa, in northeastern Niger. The caravan people and nomads who pass through here they call it "last tree", but no one can tell me what the place has escaped, nor what miraculous water vein present underground manages to keep it alive.

There, right at his feet, Today he lives the free spirit of a true visionary. A stele and his ashes, scattered all around after her tragic death, occurred in 1986 in the crash of the helicopter that was traveling, are all that is left of Thierry Sabine.

«The desert left me live. The desert reminds me» He used to say.

And so it was. Nine years before, not far from here, the young Thierry, Nice, rich, blond as a Norman, race car driver and motorcycle enthusiast's adventures and extreme competitions, lose the road during a stage of the rally Abidjan-nice. Riding his Yamaha XT 500 enduro remains isolated from the rest of the competitors and finds himself in the middle of nowhere without a compass, no water and no food. Only companies with a useless map and a gri-gri, an amulet given to him by a friend tuareg that separates ever.

The boy from Neuilly-sur-Seine don't lose heart: rubs fetish almost to consume it, So what he has to lose? Chance or fate the gri-gri does his duty: After three days and three nights the Frenchman is localized and rescue. Against all odds Thierry Sabine is safe. But even irreparably changed. Those lonely hours, passed at the mercy of a sea of sand to rub a leather aumuleto, conquered much to make him forget the fear of death. The silence of the desert, interrupted only by the wind that shapes the dunes in ephemeral forms like those of clouds, caused him to glimpse new horizons, new targets. No mirages or morgane, but real visions that would soon become reality.

The vision of Thierry

Algerian air force already on the plane that brings him home Thierry Sabine starts thinking about a rally for four and two wheels as you've never seen before. A sensational competition, from the path that is nothing short of insane, with departure and arrival in Paris, After about twenty days, sunny white beaches of Dakar. Two continents, an ocean to cross and in the middle of nowhere – or all – of the Sahara. A raid, more than one race, where the strength and skill of the pilot, but also the performance and robustness of the medium, will be put to the test under extreme environmental problems. But also a unique opportunity for competitors to challenge your limits, in a mix of charm and adventure, exotic and modernity, large landscapes and impossible conditions. "A challenge to all who take part in» is his credo "but even a dream for anyone who is watching».

Sabine's vision is realized in a few months. Back in France starts to get busy to find the funding necessary for the realization of your project. Knock on left and right, tireless and persistent, determined to realize his goal. Until, miraculously, the money crop up mainly due to Oasis, a company that produces fruit juices. After less than a year from its design the Paris-Dakar race may already be a reality.

The 26 December 1978, Boxing Day, two vehicles of all kinds congregate roaring on the Esplanade of the Trocadero, in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. On board there are professionals and individuals, experienced pilots and amateurs. Merges the desire for adventure, But even a good dose of unconsciousness. Waiting for them, In fact, ten thousand kilometres across France, Algeria, Niger, Mali, Upper Volta (Today Burkina Faso) and Senegal. Few paved roads, many dirt roads and Sandy trails many kilometres – then – who cross the desert. Of those that today there are no tomorrow, cancelled – or move – by the wind, and that's why they are not on the maps. Little or no mechanical assistance, food poor, fierce climate even in winter. The compass and the starry sky as only guide. Adrenaline and gasoline as propellants for adventure. The desire to arrive at all costs as absolute objective.

Only seventy-four, though, reach – the 14 following January – the Pink Lake Beach, a few kilometers north of Dakar.

The first is a 21-year-old of Orléans, Cyril Neveu that in years to come would inextricably linked his name to the competition, winning several editions. Tired, Sandy dirt and sweat, cut the finish line triumphant riding – coincidentally – to a Yamaha XT500. In your eyes there is the unmistakable light of someone who knows that she has completed an undertaking. Because of company, in fact, This was.

Party between general skepticism, the rally begins magically attract the interest of the media already after the third-fourth day competition. Before the papers, timidly, then radio and TV start talking with increasingly concerned by this incredible raid, while tens of thousands of Africans are poured by the side of the road (where there are) to attend in person at the passage of the convoy of fools. Everywhere, from Algiers to Agadez, from Niamey to Bamako, in the oases and in the thousands of remote villages bordering the desert, is a triumph of people who had never seen a show like. The enthusiasm of the crowd mingles with that of competitors.

All this despite the organisation of Sabine, himself in the race, Let yourself deeply to be desired: at one point seven bikers – and among them the same wrong way and end up in front of the entrance – Neveu of uranium mining. But they are details that increase even more the reputation of wild race of the competition. Even before it ends, the Paris-Dakar rally has already entered into legend.

A dangerous race

Later editions are attracting a growing number of men and women eager to try their hand at a race capable of putting a strain on human and mechanical resistance. Year after year they occur at truck, Sidecar, dune buggy, 4× 4, Quad and means of various origins and nature. At the same time also increases the interest of the people and the media who are starting to cover with greater visibility the incredible raid between two continents. Of course, funding and sponsors are growing in proportion, but Thierry Sabine manages to handle them with knowledge and skills. «Dakar» supports ' marketing needs, public relations. You have to intervene decisively in the mass media that is. And it is thanks to the show-business that continues to grow». The young man's right, but still not enough. Entry fees exorbitant, to say the least, skyrocketing insurance premiums, essential services paid a high price – but without batting an eyelid – by competitors who already know they have to sacrifice – or not arrive in Dakar – their off-road. Unthinkable, In fact, reuse it after a race like that.

The desire for adventure through the desert infects not only experts established and famous rally drivers and riders, as Jacky Ickx, Clay Regazzoni, Patrick Tambay, Henri Pescarolo and Jacques Laffitte. In the years to come to hitting the slopes of the Sahara we find, with mixed fortunes, even famous people like Mark Thatcher, son of former British Prime Minister (that, Curiously, He will be lost for three days in the desert), the rock stars of the time Johnny Halliday, actors Claude Brasseur and Renato Pozzetto, up to ski champions Jean-Claude Killy and Luc Alphand. The latter, even, will win a race Edition.

Different people from different worlds that feed, in a vicious cycle, the myth of the rally, so much so that after a few editions becomes more popular on the Tour and at Roland Garros. Sabine knows this and takes advantage, not minding the criticisms about excessive organizational machine and greediness extreme danger of the race.

Yes, because in Paris-Dakar you die, as perhaps only in Tourist Trophy.
Each year – or almost – someone gets your skin.

The first is Patrice Dodin, just in the first edition, thrown from his bike while trying to reconnect the helmet that had loosened. In the years to come will be nearly sixty pilots who lost their lives during the competition. Most of them in clashes between participating transport, but there are also those who took a bullet in the head fired by a nervous military, who is lost forever in the dunes for a lack of communication with the organizers, who underwent pulmonary edema in the desert and who was hit by a vehicle pirate. And then man missing, cars and motorbikes destroyed, unexploded mines, sudden clefts, drivers injured, amputees, paralyzed, even seized from gangs of Marauders. Every year at least 20% participants leave the race due to accidents of various kinds. Yet, Paradoxically, This is what attracts people and Sabine even knows that "If there is no risk» responds to the criticism" doesn't even make sense to set up the race».

Death by helicopter

Not talking nonsense, the boy from Neuilly-sur-Seine now made man, and this is witnessed in a more direct and dramatic can. The 14 January 1986, As always, chasing the race aboard his chopper white. With him there are also her friend singer Daniel Balavoine, the journalist Nathalie Odent, the pilot François Xavier-Banioux, cousin of Prince Albert of Monaco, and Jean-Paul Le Fur, an experienced radio. It's seven o'clock in the evening when, perhaps due to the excessive weight, or maybe a sudden sandstorm – we'll never know –, the aircraft crashed on land near the community of Gourma-Rharous, killing instantly all occupants.

The circus has lost his master. The Paris-Dakar, no more driving, stops for the next stop, but just because the only one who knows the track is the same Sabine who hasn't had time to communicate it to competitors. Then resumes as usual.
As Therry wanted.

In obedience to his will, After some time from death his ashes are scattered under the acacia from twisted trunk and twisted branches growing in Nigerien Ténéré. «The desert left me live. The desert reminds me». Here's, the Club is closed and the myth of Thierry Sabine remains delivered forever in history.

His Dakar, Of course, continues and does so with growing success. The car that has sparked eight years before you start that almost goes it alone, Although, year after year, the path takes to also vary considerably. The cause, almost always, resides in the difficult political situations of certain countries that are not safe to cross. Military, Marauders, guerrillas are too great a risk to insist in original Director, the one imagined by Sabine. But there are also business reasons to oblige the Organization to study the unedited itineraries. Hence the departures from Granada, Lisbon or Barcelona, arrivals in Cape Town, Cairo and Sharm el-Sheikh, the circuit from Dakar and return.

The Dakar in South America

But there's more. Some argue that Africans don't like so much the passing procession roared every year in front of their doorstep. Maybe things are just so, or maybe not. The fact is that the years go by and the Paris-Dakar race inevitably lose the spirit of the origins. Yes, certain, the danger, the charm, the adventure, the great scenarios ... all this remains more or less intact, but on the streets and on the slopes of a land increasingly poor and ravaged by hunger and the thousand wars now passes a circus made of large parables, by GPS, of journalists in tow, for sponsors who obey a business model intrusive and boho. Years pass and this rally organized by Europeans to someone brings to mind the sad memories, never dormant, of the colonies, the wars for independence and legionnaire's képi bianchi. So, on Mauritania, on Christmas Eve 2008, four French tourists are brutally murdered by men of North African phalanx of Al Qaeda. A warning directed at the rally, There is no doubt: After a few days, In fact, on this same land would have passed the caravan. The Paris-Dakar rally is cancelled in haste and, from the year after, moved to South America, more precisely between Argentina, Chile and Peru. Safer lands.

And so by 2009 no more African deserts, sunsets, frosty nights, stretches of dunes, old villages, herds of camels and nomadic tribes. The desire for adventure extreme, always poised between bravery and recklessness, now passes through equally exhausting, between stretches endless, pampas exterminated and mountains rising up to the sky. Also here are the sand, the roughness, the dangers and contingencies. Riders compete to enroll. People continue to follow the raid with intact enthusiasm. Sponsors and media do not miss their support.

And yet ... and yet it is hard to not feel the weight of an irretrievable loss. Certain, the word Dakar remained ("Dakar Rally" is now the official name of the race), but I wonder what he would say Thierry Sabine of this change so radical. Perhaps would accept what in the name of the business and security. Or maybe not. Maybe you wouldn't have the courage to follow overseas that noisy Caravan that had started after three days and three nights to rub a gri-gri of leather. Maybe he would let his child die. Maybe.

What is sure is that he, Africa, He no longer wanted to abandon it. Even in death.

Source: www.storiedisport.it

Lyrics: Marco Della Croce


Cover Magazine Moto Verte 1986

Cover dedicated to Andrew Marinoni on Yamaha Moto Verte 1986.