Laia wins top female place in Dakar Rally

Motor racing

SPANISH driver Laia Sanz was the highest-placed woman in this year’s Dakar Rally, finishing 11th overall in the world’s toughest, off-road, motor-racing challenge.

She has won the women’s section seven times before, always competing alongside men, because the Rally is a mixed competition. And this year, Laia was one of 17 females among more than 500 males, the largest women’s participation in the event’s 41-year history.

Despite its name, the Dakar Rally is not necessarily held in, or near, the Senegalese capital. In fact, it has a different venue every year and has not taken place on the African continent.

This year’s challenge, which took place in the fiercest of conditions, across the desert in the south of Perú, finishing yesterday (Thursday)

Laia, (pictured), who is dubbed “Queen of the Desert”, came ninth overall in 2015, which is still her best Dakar result. But her finish this year gave her an eighth trophy as winning female.

She is also the first motorcyclist, – male or female, to complete the race nine times on the trot, without dropping out.

The Team Soficat Xerox rider was “very happy” with a result, she was not expecting, especially after suffering a series of energy-sapping illnesses, including Q-fever, neuropathy and mononucleosis, the latter being a type of auto-immune condition.

“I’ve gone through a lot to get her,” said the 42-year-old, now back to full health. “If I’d been told a month ago that I’d make it No.11, I wouldn’t have believed it.”


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Posted by on Jan 25 2019. Filed under Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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