For its third participation in the Dakar, the Rieju Team faced the toughest and most complex edition since the event has been held in Saudi Arabia. The riders not only fought against their competition, but also faced a challenging and ever-changing terrain, along with adverse weather conditions that lasted for several stages, heavy rains, and cold weather that complicated the development of the race, in addition to the work of the assistance, with few hours of rest and many kilometers ahead. The experiences have been very intense and the team has gone through very positive exciting moments and also other adverse ones.
The most positive part is to have achieved the goal that Patricio Cabrera had set for himself, to get on the podium of the Dakar as a finisher; we accompanied the Chilean rider to fulfill the dream of competing in its tenth edition and at 32 years of age to be the youngest Legend participant to finish the Dakar. With this milestone achieved, we are proud to complete the celebration of the 80th anniversary of the creation of Rieju 1942/2022.
We cannot forget the good feelings we are left with, such as Sandra Gomez's performances, joining the Dakar after overcoming a long illness that had left her physically very weak, but she still wanted to fight in the rally to try and win the women's class. In fact, Sandra managed not only to be on the starting line, but in stage five she was already the leader of her category, an achievement that brought an explosion of joy among all the members of the team.
Dani Nosiglia also started very well in the general classification, until he suffered a fall that caused him to drop positions. Thanks to his tenacity, he became more competitive every day, improving his position compared to previous editions by placing in a couple of stages among the top ten scratch.
Diego Llanos, one of the best enduro riders in Argentina, started the Dakar very strong, quickly fighting in the top 25 scratch group and second in Rally2, a position he maintained for several stages.
The Dakar 2023 will be remembered for its extreme difficulty, the adverse weather, and the technical incidents that caused the withdrawal from the competition of many riders, including two of our own team. Now it's time to assess the situation, and continue working and improving in order to go out stronger for the next 2024 edition.
Statements from the pilots
"Well, already in Bolivia, the truth is that I'm very happy. It has been a very difficult Dakar for me, but I think we can take more positives than negatives. We had a lot of problems during the first week, the second week too, but I think the most important thing was to overcome and solve each of the problems. I keep in mind my performance in all the stages that we have not had problems, I have been fighting with the best riders in the world and that was the goal. Unfortunately, I was not able to reach the finish line, but I will surely come back stronger. A very special thanks to the whole team and to all the people who have always been supportive."
"I just arrived to Chile, a long trip but a very nice one, here I have been welcomed by friends and the press. Quite happy with this Dakar Rally, very satisfied, I met all the objectives, so I'm happy to return healthy. This was one of the hardest Dakars I've done, we had a good time and the team was incredible, the bike was perfect, I think the Dakar has returned to its adventurous essence".
"I went to the Dakar with a slightly herniated lumbar, so two weeks before the rally I was being treated for it. The truth is that it was great because it almost did not hurt. But my body was exhausted still from the mononucleosis, I had almost no muscle. I gave everything I had to go to the Dakar as best I could, but I had a bad finger, a bad cold, etc... So I thought if I no longer had a chance to win or finish in a position that corresponded to me, it might be better to go home and recover because I still have several months of recovery ahead of me. It has been an honor to represent a Spanish brand like Rieju."