Why Hasn't an American Won Dakar?

This is a great piece written by Scot Harden, a true racing legend.  I got to meet and ride with Scot at an MSR gear launch last year.  His son Brent was a brand manager for them and now with ANSWER RACING.  He's done the Dakar and won quite a few other major events.  If you're a fan of rally racing then this is a must-read.

Some great names here: Jimmy Lewis, Johnny Campbell, Quinn Cody, Chris Blaise, Kellon Walch, Kurt Casseli, etc...



Great article,with great facts, growing up in Europe Dakar was an Great annual event watched by everyone in the motorcycle community. In the USA due to lack of communication and/or rival cooperation between French & USA TV it is difficult to even get/or watch the Dakar live on TV. All I have able to get in the last few years is daily summaries. Although there are at least 15 (or more) French TV helicopters coving the race live. Unable to see/watch Dakar live easily has created a lack of awareness of the magnitude of this event in the American motorcycle community. Most USA motorcyclist's I talk to know a lot about the BAJA 500 or 1000 but little or nothing about the enormity/scope of DAKAR. This is a pity " out of sight, out of mind". There needs to be some effort to break through this $/culture barrier between USA/French TV and bring the greatest race in the world easily  to all Americans (ie.all the world) which would increase interest/knowledge in the race and being a lot more interest to participate for upcoming riders.At the moment an American motorcyclist gets a lot more recognition & USA TV coverage for participating in any BAJA race then he would get for competing or winning DAKAR. It seems he would be a hero in Europe but unknown except to a few motorcycle/Dakar afficandios in the USA.

The above is also true of several other world sports events that can't compete with NBA, NFL etc. 

All the above is just my opinion and/or experience, means nothing.


Edited by pceire32

This was a bit depressing, Ricky seems to be our only hope.

My first exposure to the Dakar Rally was working for ABC Television in the UK, I have to think it was 1983 or 84 and we were doing a weekly wrap up show (in the days of 16mm Telecine transfers coverage was not as instant as it is today). I looked on YouTube but couldn't find anything. Back then the network was also covering the TdF with LeMond's first ride in the race plus some other "interesting" European sporting events & trying at least to live up to the "Wide" and "World" part of it's sport's moniker. Pretty much just ball & stick stuff these days.

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