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Dakar 86 – The diary of Aldo Winkler

After long preparations and emotions, a heck of a time stolen at work but it was not enough especially to work out the details on the bike. Departure for Paris arrival in Rouen and handling in the same city red tape of the race, momentum transfer at Versailles (that cold) a little episode when we departed we forgot the fact that it was cold and we had to make these gloves with the cross 60 kilometers to frost.

Three kilometres of ice, Unable to stand. Prologue won by Poles who mounted the studded tyres.

Three kilometres of ice, Unable to stand. Prologue won by Poles who mounted the studded tyres.

In Paris a few days allows the rolls, incidentally the rolls are a road book that is given in book form to put them inside the box of a laptop you have to shorten one sheet after another to do so they can be rolled and unrolled. You try to rest despite a big thrill and also tension that continues to rise. The prologue in 60 kilometers (under the snow) one beastly thing, the bike is very high without letting the slightest hand proves undriveable. the prologue takes (3 km) It shows an amazing thing was a sheet of ice with mud Rails under harsh, There are countless flights wasn't standing that grind the new bike already looks old destroyed by flights.

Aldo Winkler left, and beat Grassotti the protagonists of this adventure

Aldo Winkler left, and beat Grassotti the protagonists of this adventure

After a new year's not great because it's a little’ the tension a little’ the company, hovered the anxiety of departure. The first of January a severe cold on departure, I'm very excited, almost frightened when giving birth I didn't even dare to turn to greet Paoletta, I had the fear of not being able more starting. The first kilometers I make with Beat (Grassotti his Team-mates Ed), under bitterly cold that explains how anyone can go in motion. The departure from Paris is a very exciting thing seems to follow a human cordon from Paris to Thirst, all that say hello and celebrate, Unfortunately, the rush to get hurt this chance to get in touch with this enthusiasm. The first problems the cold and rain are preventing the engine to function well. Turns off constantly, crackles and not okay. This fact gives me incredible anxiety and I expect to stop at any time. At some point the engine stops and beat unaware of my stop. I try to get there traveling alone until Thirst (He also had problems and in the dark never saw him). It takes me a nostalgia as ever I was taken, wants Paoletta and emotion I cry under the helmet. I'm looking for something to write her and tell her that I love her but I don't find it. Meanwhile a Japanese on the bike number 2 (Yasuo Kaneko ndr) is hit by a car and dies instantly, see the incident and think that it could happen to me I held further, but now you have to erase this idea otherwise we leave more.

aldo7Arrival in Sete at 2 in the morning (We started at 8 the day before) embark the bike after many difficulties. We don't find Grisoglio (our assistance ndr) with our stuff and finally at 3 We go to sleep. Of course in Algiers after endless bureaucratic queues we start at 6 in the evening and it's almost dark, We expect 700 kilometers of transfer. It's raining and it's cold, We soaked, on a road made entirely of mountain curves with black asphalt without streaks where nothing could be seen. Beat was better than me and I'm stepping stone to him even if I couldn't anyway nothing. Luckily the road improves with the mileage and not raining anymore, We arrive at 2 am and we sleep on the ground. The anxiety of the bike that isn't working properly continues.

First stop hours 6.00 the departure. We start in reverse order, and this occurs across Algeria. Who is at mid-table Snatcher, Why must pass the first that are slow and overtaken by the latest that are fast, result travels constantly in the dust. All well and good until I break the trip master. Of course I get lost on a plain of small sand dunes filled with thousands of tracks in all directions. I reach Gilles Picard, I follow him, then I see Peak but I keep getting lost more and more. I am consoled by the fact that after a short time we form a group of thirty including the strongest in search of the right track. The first contact with the road book is disagreeable too many notes with text and drawings and a few kilometres in French. The first contact with Africa Tour is not bad, the food is good and it does too much tail but do not give the water!

aldo8

Second stage: fire damper and many bottoming weaken the frame. Catch up with you anyway lnsah and here I wash in a hotel room by Boano. The track with many potholes and stones with fast sections, lnsalah-two special quick, I reach the machines, do not see anything. It's really dangerous because in the dust when you've passed have those 200 meters that run into thin air, an anguish. See pass next to you huge boulders, chasms and think "enough 1 Metro in there and now I wonder where I was "? Second special made with Beat, I wait because it breaks the joint is we end the special with rattano engines and are not nearly as.

The relationship of established with their bike becomes almost mystical, talk to him, beg, the fai confidences. Become a partner with whom you share the nature and all its expressions.

In the transfer to Tam splittin' mousse, we stop at a bar, Let's proceed to melt further the mousse. The asphalt is bad, interspersed with a runway full of ugly fesh fesh (impalpable sand) with big trucks under Rails caused by passage. At some point I no longer see Beat and although the mousse into pieces, I'm going back for about ten kilometers to her research, thinking it was dropped. I don't see it. I go back in the direction of Tam. Having always regret that Beat, knowing I had drilled, I would abandon. Looking back on those ten kilometers turned down looking for her, the fact that I had not found. Change the rubber and even as inflated air bladder, Luckily the assistance arrives and wheel change allotment manetta, still missing 150 km. It gets dark and break the headlights, and go in the dark with the light of the stars, and late night arrival in time not to take the deal in Tamarasset.

At the hotel I find Batti, and there's no time to wash. Stage I feel good in the stones on Assecrèm Tam Tam. Do I get a fright unbelievable to go in the dust an opponent, I leave the racetrack and step into a period with large stones to handcuff and I do a flight. In the air off the bike and helmet standing. Divine grace! I broke the nut that holds the shock to the frame, the brake Rod broke through the muffler. I finish the stage slowly continuing to not exploit engine, I suffer a lot of danger in overtaking after that fright.

"Ero talmente disperato che l'avventura fosse finita, I prayed that the assistance came. Armando replaced the engine and I left for the remaining 600 km, the night was waiting for me..

“I was so desperate that the adventure was over, I prayed that the assistance came. Armando replaced the engine and I left for the remaining 600 km, the night was waiting for me…”

Tam Agades, departure in a large river dried up full of Sand Springs, the engine Cove and hardens, continuous up to a piece of tough track where mollo a moment. The ignition is turned off. I'm stuck, and I begin to disassemble to replace to get it started, sudo all the water in the body, I can only remove the motor hoping it gets assistance. She comes to the 5.30 After waiting for six hours in a mixture of despair, resignation and pissed off. Hours of fire. engine and gearbox allotment scared of finding myself in the desert at night, not knowing where to go, step on the border with Niger, do I fill up from a truck in the desert. Continuous and I get lost. I no longer see traces and off piste between rocks stones and sand springs. I take the Monocle and I can see some lights I headed in that direction and I find the machines swept under the carpet. Gathering confidence and with this also the track, I reboot but I still missing 600 km upon arrival. I don't care to stay on the trail not to Miss. The track was a mixture of fech fech, soft sand and hard Rails due to the fact that all rally was already past including truck. Of course I'm reducing speed, the lack of visibility into the height of the bike, the track is an impressive set of difficulties. The falls are countless more, every fall you always enjoy effort to raise, Falla restart then, that effort!

"Ero stanchissimo, but still enjoyed the legendary Ténéré ..."

“I was so tired, but still enjoyed the legendary Ténéré…”

Fatigue assails me and I stop the truck Belgarda in need of repair and I sleep a to recover energies. Arrive back support, We share and I am heartened also by standing behind, make me light and when I fall it helps me get up. I can't stand it anymore, for a while’ of km driving Ciaudano (of care Ed) but I take the bike in time for the last 150 kilometers of asphalt to handcuff to arrive on time at eight and didn't take the penalty. At 8.30 allotment for the Special, I care only for a minute, I'm shocked and I don't take anything. Unfortunately it will be the last time that I see her. The stage of the Ténéré is going to be impressive but beautiful, you are in awe before the great desert, but the stage I find it easy. But the engine will harden again. I stop and let it cool down, shooting air and allotment going easy on the anguish that splitting and let me walk. At the slightest noise I am terrified, I speak to the bike, Please continue, clicking the last 150 kilometers in the dark until thankfully I see the lights of some cars that I show the way.

In the meantime I broke the chain joint, but I can get everything right surprise well with maximum

"JCO responsabile di Sonauto, great rider and Great Lord. I once helped him disinsabbiare his bike, Since then, even though it was a special stop to ask if everything was ok"

“JCO responsible for Sonauto, great rider and Great Lord. I once helped him disinsabbiare his bike, Since then, even though it was a special stop to ask if everything was ok”

calm. I sleep on the ground but the cold still remains persistent. I know I have bad teeth and hands with deep cuts for cold weather. Dirku-Agadem is the infamous stage, transverse dunes reported by some fallen bookends. The Wind clears the tracks, This is a very dangerous stage, the wave-shaped dunes at the Summit break sharply with sometimes perpendicular slopes. Not knowing the first dune I jump, making impressive jumps. In fact this stage causes many accidents, Mercandelli injures his shoulder, the Anquetil falls gashes shoulder trauma, the jaw, the teeth and the cheek bones. And dramatic look at a bloodbath. Beppe Gauri falls and breaks the ligaments of the knee. A Tatra trucks you Hood forward, and one of the drivers will remain paralyzed. Arrival in Agadem, that only proves a strong military in ruins in the middle of the desert. Don't get nothing to eat, talking the sleeping bag because of a mixup. With Beat I go to a well in 5 km and despair of the thirsty I drink not caring about anything.

Agadem – Zinder, this infamous stage, very long in a zig-zag of sliding bar of Sand Springs, the desert landscape slowly turns into Sahel 400 km facts in a few hours. Over the special we expect others 600 km of transfer. Here we see Baron just tumbled out of a nasty stretch of asphalt, Unfortunately remains irreversible coma for years because of this accident. With Beat I stop to eat at a shithole though we eat well in spite the place and we arrive late at night. My bike starts to consume oil.

"Giornata di riposo a Naimei, in albergo con tutti i privati italiani per sistemare le moto".

“Rest day in Naimei, in hotel with all private Italian to fix bikes”.

Zinder – Niamei: long transfer all of cross- 600 km eating the dust of machines that surpass us. I leave for the special but at the start I breaks the change. The bike remains in third on a track very sandy. Beat goes on and I don't like it, I'd be behind him to help him. Delivery very agitated and naturally fall continuously. You pit the tank and I lose gas like a fountain from the tap. I get up as quickly as possible in an attempt to repair the tank kicking better. I finish the special and transfer to Niamei of 200 km arrival late at night. Niamei closed, I find it to be welded on the frame and I lose the last hope to get through because we hoped that the assistance would come. One would expect a night of fire, I couldn't sleep all night because of the mosquitoes that we were eaten alive. In the morning we had the hands and face were swollen from mosquito bites. The Dakar has no mercy: departure at 4 in the morning.

Some moments immortalized in Dakar 1986. In the photo above the great Veronique Anquetil.

Some moments immortalized in Dakar 1986. In the photo above the great Veronique Anquetil.

Away by the previous night we got a special 450 km. I lose myself almost immediately and I completely just clueless in a terrible landscape shrubs, hillocks and Fords, with huge rifts. Luckily I find a car with a Japanese motorcycle racer and in their company don't despair takes over. Following Zaniroli we find the track but the orientation is very difficult. Find cars in the opposite direction to your, feeding your doubts. Bush must follow the tracks, but sometimes you cannot even trucks leave tracks, bend the shrubs and they straighten out like nothing ever. I no longer have the road book from Agades because were were on the truck assistance that never came. Arrival in late stage that it is night and the last kilometers full throttle for fear of the dark, but I fall several times. I ask all the water.

See the special Beat him too destroyed to such an extent that I have to start the bike. We are still waiting for 120 km of transfer and 160 Special that we do side by side, almost afraid. We walk almost a kilometer at a time, and falling in turn we all do 120 kilometers. We arrive at Gourmararus at 2 in the morning, everyone here is upset. Sabine helicopter crashed and died with four others. We are all overwhelmed. We start in the morning at 10 to make 1100 km to Bamako referred 160 of track. Here I see the chopper, was reduced to a cubic metre of metal! We arrive in Bamako at 3 At night, messed around and rush to get makes us pull on the asphalt.

Infinity pool a cow in the road that I hit to smear with shoulder. I saw the Horn in my throat. After this fright I slow down and put off Beat, My headlight is insufficient because the second lamp I gave it to him.

In the hope of getting Beat riaccellero. Not do I time to get cow scare myself a shooting without lights and reflectors stopped in the middle of the road. Big spaventoma now I got used to it. As usual arrival late at night. A few hours of sleep and awake again to go. 60 km of transfer and 700 km special and new 300 track transfer. Now we are discouraged. Beat no longer wants to leave, the organization is in the balloon, There is little medical care and two helicopters in less. Childbirth and special begins at 10. The track is slow to 40 kmh media, curves, Rails, holes, sand, in the Bush. The place is nice, but I am undecided whether to continue! I stop, I eat and share, Clap arrives but was totally on the ball, was loud crashing. Just, Decides to retire.

Boano con il suo meccanico "Garino".

Boano with his mechanic “Gabriel”.

With Boano and we are the only remaining Italian Germanetti, There we console and move on. We pick ourselves up again when we fall, Now you can't stop. We are in the middle of nowhere. The track is awful, slow and full of stones in the middle of the forest. Almost getting dark hole rear wheel, I try to repair it but I can't. The refit and seeking assistance in a small village. Hundreds of people surround me. It seems incredible that so many people can live in four huts of wood and hay. Help me and I can share. After a short time the mousse before gives way and the bike becomes undriveable besides the fact that meanwhile dropped the dark. Meeting a pilot with a broken leg do I console arrived assistance allotment.

I'm in a forest with dense vegetation, and the track is really ugly, stones, very deep water drains with the ascent with a fine powder that doesn't allow you to see the stones underneath. Characteristic are the bridges with four ACEs, or if you prefer there is deviation and you go into the water with large stones. The darkness and tension does not allow me to enjoy so much wonder. in a Ford I remain trapped because they mistake the ascent. When I see it I can't take this road well because there were deep furrows caused by truck. With the mud to the knees and the bike planted up to the wheels almost soaring the move of strength and finish the last energies. I put it in a vertical position and after endless kick starts and to boost I take off from the grip of the mud. Meanwhile, the chain was stretched to such an extent that it ran on that poor pinion now worn.

Beat Grassotti immortalized in Bamako, After a transfer zany.

Beat Grassotti immortalized in Bamako, After a transfer zany.

Continuation but cross your eyes for fatigue, I fall and remain under the bike without the strength to pull me up, with his foot under the bike. Look at that position a lot’ of time until fortunately passes an assistance of Cagiva and I set up. Allotment but shortly after I stop by now exhausted and I say goodbye to the race, and I'll jump on the floor to sleep. After a while’ of time the cold wakes me up and allotment, always with the front way mousse. Arrival in Labe at 1 p.m., and I can hear the happy news, was closed and the race was stopped, The next day I can share, are still in the race. Departure at 8 waiting for me 250 km of Mule-awesome, worse than Assecrem, stones, water drains Rails and climb steep slopes. If I was in Italy with a trials bike I would have that piece.

Gran Hotel Dakar :D

Gran Hotel Dakar :D

I do almost 600 meters on the edge of the precipice, on a wide strip 20 cm. Thankfully they end even those special kilometers and the next is about to begin. In fact, after the border I expect another of 400 km. Surprised to notice that after 200 km remained without oil! Now the engine goes to oil and a little’ of gasoline, Unable to go even at high rpm. I leave for the second special, but there are no with his head, I'm wrong a lot and do many straight wrong way. After a while I lose my perception of my speed, I seem to go slow instead going strong. I take a hole and then another, flashing forward, I do a flight of six meters and remain in the air for an infinity of time. I pass out. I just recovered the bike destroyed with a tap of the gas ripped through. The lie on the opposite side so you don't lose other gasoline and try to fix the leak. I'm shocked, Haggard, sore and scared. No lights, with still many kilometers to do in the dark.

"Ci sono momenti in cui si procede per inerzia, the isitnto of survival is the feeling that brings you back ..."

“There are times when we proceed by inertia, the isitnto of survival is the feeling that brings forth…”

I get back on my feet and I share in an attempt to get through the stage with light. Do other 20 km other hole, another meeting with the bike but this time I nosed ben 12 meters from the pit. This time I also hurt, Luckily nothing broken, but there are pains you. In retrospect i shudder. Now the bike is destroyed, Crooked, i lose my senses twice and I get a nosebleed. I take your senses after a long time. I recover and the first wish is to get to the end. I do what I can from now on is a challenge with myself and with my willpower. Surplus at a snail's pace to a village, where wonder of gasoline to finish the stage, Pago 10 liters 40 dollars, less and less of 500 Franks who wanted. I'm still 150 km but without lighting proceed is virtually impossible. I put myself in the middle of the road and stopped all asking you to follow me to enlighten the road. After receiving the refusal of nearly a dozen car, I find Peruvian participants that take as long to go fast because they are special and they don't want to lose positions.

"Il deserto ti presenta tante tipologie di difficoltà: from the sand dunes, from rocks to fech fech ..."

“The desert gives you many types of difficulties: from the sand dunes, from rocks to fech fech…”

I do what I can, unbeknownst of substantial risks with a motorcycle virtually undriveable. Arrival at 22 and amazingly I didn't even got the deal, but as soon as I stop collapse and suddenly feel the pain. I ask George to shelter the bike and I go to sleep, logically always for Earth. The next morning George tells me not to be able to repair the bike as well as decreased makes no sense continue. I insist, but there is nothing to do, abandon the race, but it still doesn't do I need a reason. I take three rations of Africa Tour and go to the station. Elargisco a tip a guy who tells me what to do. The bureaucracy to carry the bike is a Babel infinite, Finally seems to have solved everything, I just have to wait for the train. Luckily I see two Italians, working for FAO, reassure me and I guarantee you will take home. They feed me and take me back to the station. Strengths we load the bike on a freight train smelly and full of stones. Finally I sleep and even the stones seem to a comfy bed.

aldo9

There I download the bike helped by some fellow travellers, I find a cab and incredibly the roof load. The taxi was fetid, but at least I was put back in motion. Night falls and the taxi stops at the crossroads of the entrance of the city of Dakar. The taxi driver takes me in the square that was also the bus and kindly offers me a latte at a bar frequented by shady characters. Finally the taxi driver decides to start afresh and takes me where I had booked the hotel before leaving, hoping that someone had already arrived.

A small regret, If I had broken down I would arrive at the bottom. In fact the stage which left from Kaies came undone and the Organization decided to avoid Mauritania and go in convoy from Kaies in Sant Luis, before taking the runway on arrival. Damn!

Source: Aldo Winkler's facebook page

Grassotti-1988-2

Mercandelli and Grassotti with 125 towards the Dakar 1988

Carlo Alberto Mercandelli had the dealer Volkswagen which boasted the largest motorcycle throughout the Italian clientele. From his living room in Casale Monferrato came out the cars of the cross, enduro and also the speed.
There was a reason for this, and the reason goes beyond the inevitable discount. Carlo Alberto after being an excellent pilot cross had stood in around like juvenile cross national Manager. An activity that had kept alive the passion and desire to drive.
So after a first experience in the Paris-Dakar ' 86, and the fifteenth place overall and first in class (with a Yamaha 350) the Rally of the Pharaohs, tried the adventure.
«Commitments with the IMF keep me busy between February and October, and I remain. the winter months to devote to bike. So I approached the rally and in Africa I found my favorite terrain. Africa is beautiful. The contact and the contrast between Earth and sky offer unique sensations».

They are not lacking contingencies...
"Already, in 1986 After ten days of competition a little boy in the night stole the boots. I left for the stage in sneakers but I didn't do a long way. Fell almost immediately by retreating to a dislocated collarbone».

This year the difficulties you've go to try running with a 125.
"Of course is a bit’ madness, and if you'd thought over probably would have given up on this adventure. Instead the decision was matured in a hurry. the Yamaha Belgarda has offered to help me as long as I ran with a 125 Ténéré serie».

Much more thought out was the choice of Giovan Battista (said «Beat») Gargate, writing in the Paris-Dakar with a Aprilia Tuareg Rally 125.
"The idea of running with a 125 I came up with last year while returning to Paris after I retired from Niamey.
Be the first to arrive in Dakar on an 125 It would be wonderful, of course I would be glad to do it along with Mercandelli. I front and one behind».

Having a companion of displacement, Although brand opponent, will help?
«Definitely. I'm very glad I'm not the only one to try. In two we can help and we have a better chance to succeed».

Do you believe?
"Technically I don't see why a good 125 modern shouldn't do that. The problem will be that, not being fast, We'll have to drive for hours in the dark».

Ed. The Dakar Mercandelli stopped 4 of January in stage Sahan Berry-Bir Larache. To Grassotti during the fifth stage.

Source Motosprint
Thanks Clement Canino for photos

Arrival 1990 correct

The “our heroes”, the Italians at the arrival of the Dakar 1990

Standing: Franco Picco, Alexander Ciro De Petri, Medardo, Mandelli, Petrini, Marcaccini, Cabini and Malik;
Trussed: Gauri, Algiers, Gargate, Signorelli, Orioli, Mercandelli and Abbasi. In the photo lacks only Zotti.

Gargate 1987

My Dakar 1987 by Baloyi Grassotti

The Team G. R. Yashica to Paris Dakar 1987 host two pilots, Aldo Winkler and beat Grassotti which will race starts with a’ Honda XL 600 and a Kawasaki KLR 650, both completely standard.

The 31 December the race from Paris. The 4, 5 and 6 January after moving to Africa, you do the first three specials: Ghardaia-El Golea, El Gholea – In Salah, In Salah Tamanrasset. Gargate, with the KLR 650 always hovers around 36° – 37° postor. During the Tamanrasset – Arlit, in Explorer's adventure in the desert happens Gargate, taking the wrong road on the border with Niger.

Gargate 1987

“I realised I was on a wrong path – tells the biker – I tried to go back and find the right references. So I wandered up to finish the fuel. Descended the darkness, with the cold that was beginning to take its toll, I could only hope for a miracle to be found before the next day. Suddenly came out of two lighthouses.

Were those of a car driven by two Tuareg who view my situation, They told me to wait. Are broken down, and with them my hopes. However soon after they came back with gasoline from a vehicle abandoned by another competitor withdrew. The tank is full, directed me to a star and they told me to follow her always. So I did and I arrived at Arlit just in time to see share the other competitors.”-

Ends so the 7 January 1988, for arrival after the maximum time,