With a total of 7.2% of the competitors registered, Spain is the fourth country with the most representatives in the Dakar 2016 after France, Holland and Argentina. Reason for review one by one all of the Spanish participants that will take part in this edition of the raid of the world’s toughest. In the case of the categories of motorcycles and quads, a total of 20 participants are competing under the Spanish flag, with 17 enrolled in the category of two-wheel and 3 competing on a quadricycle. We’re going to know them all!
17 Spanish riders contested the Dakar in the motorcycle category and five will do so as official drivers or protected from a manufacturer. Joan Barreda will be flying the Honda CRF450 Rally #6, being the spearhead of the project of the Team HRC. With 13 stage wins in four editions of the Dakar, is one of the big favorites to victory. In front you will have to Jordi Viladoms and Laia Sanz with the KTM 450 Rally Replica #11 and #12. The low Sam Sunderland requires both to acquire gallons in the formation of the austrian. For his part, Joan Pedrero is official pilot of Sherco (#17).
Talk about bikes, and Spanish is to do so the team Himoinsa Racing Team. The formation of murcia has five ‘motards’ starting from Gerard Farrés (#23), your pilot for the general. In addition, the team gives you the opportunity to Ivan Cervantes (#52) competing in their first Dakar and relies on three pilots with more experience as they are Daniel Oliveras (#62), Antonio Gimeno (#92) and Rosa Romero Font (#93). Armand Monleón competes with the KTM #45 under the watchful eye of the firm’s austrian, while Txomin Arana wants to confirm their good feelings of his first Dakar with the Husqvarna #27.
Marc Alone competes with the Yamaha WR 450 JVO #77 in his debut, while the Fernandez family bet by Husqvarna. The father, Domingo Fernández competes with the frame number #95, while his son Carlos Fernández does so with the #94. It will be the second Dakar for this couple. Enric Martí (#97) returns to the Dakar after succumbing to its hardness in 2014, when he suffered a heat stroke and had to be evacuated after appearing semi-naked and talking inconsistently. Jose Garcia returns to the Dakar after 5 years with his long-time BMW G450X #132 and Julián José García made his debut in the Dakar with the Yamaha #142.
The list of Spanish riders, quads will be limited to three. With the great absence of Jose Luis Espinosa, known as ‘The Black Knight’ and without doubt the rider with the most experience in the category, what is true is the Spanish representation in quads is testimonial, since they are all pilots, amateur and beginners. However, behind the three Spanish representatives, there is a peculiar history that has led them to face what is for many the category more hard to physical level.
Covadonga Fernández and Eduardo Marcos are a married couple Spanish living in Venezuela, which is facing its first Dakar. Eduardo Marcos (#282) he began riding in the quadricycle in a vacation and since then this entrepreneur from bilbao has not stopped. After playing the Rally in Merzouga and the Rally of Morocco, is ready to face the harshness of the Dakar, but it will be accompanied by his wife. Covadonga Fernandez (#281) has almost been dragged to by her husband and will mochilera. Both will compete with two units of the Can-Am Renegade 800.
Alberto Prieto is the other Spanish present in quads. This madrid faces his first Dakar at the controls of the Yamaha Raptor 700 #295 in a success story worthy of the toughness of this test. Alberto Prieto does not have mobility in one of his arms after suffering a traffic accident, and compete with a quad facilities in which all of the controls, the ‘road-book’ and the instrumentation are on the right side. Will be the first participant in to try to finish the Dakar with only one arm.