Dakar 2017, a day of rest: The experiences of Kees Koolen


Kees Koolen is one of the names of the Dakar and yet it is largely unknown to the public at large. This Dutch 51-year-old has to his credit the record of being the first participants that have completed the Dakar on a bike, quad, car and truck. Now, at 51 years old, competes at the controls of a quad Sweep, Racer One 690. With the support of Gerben Vruggink and sponsors like Maxxis, Koolen scored in the fifth stage of the Dakar, his first victory in the test, a result that has been positioned sixth in the ranking of the category.

The story of Kees Koolen dates back to 1997, the year in which this Dutch founded together with a group of partners in a small web portal to search for hotels in your country of origin. It surely could not wait Koolen and his peers is that this portal would become a worldwide reference for the search and booking of rooms in this type of establishments. Such was the success of Booking.com that Kees Koolen amassed a fortune when he sold his participation of this business after serving as CEO and president of the company between 2008 and 2014.

In parallel, and a few months after being named CEO of Booking.com, Kees Koolen ventured to contest the Dakar for the first time. Was at the controls of a motorbike and on his debut he managed to reach the goal in the post 69th despite getting injured in the raid. The following two years he competed in the car category, but it was not until 2012 when he managed to reach the goal with a Honda buggy that development next to Jurgen Van den Goorbergh, a former pilot of MotoGP and has been a partner frequent in the adventures and misadventures of Koolen.


In 2013 it was the turn of completing the Dakar on a quad and in 2014
got with a truck Ginaf,
getting a ‘Grand Slam’
the first time was not proposed, but that in the end it was his great aim.
After completing this experience with Jurgen Van der Goorbergh on your side
in the truck and try the experience in each of the categories,
Koolen chose to compete in quad in 2015 and 2016, as
in this edition. Associated with the brothers Tom and Tim Coronel, its level has been increasing in the last three years at the controls of
a quad Sweep Racer that the same has been built from a KTM 690

his third year with the Sweep, Racer the successes have begun to
and after to set a start of Dakar fabulous with two sevenths
posts, Kees Koolen scored its first victory in the rally in the fifth
stage, a result that places him in the seventh position of the general
the category of quads despite suffering a penalty of one hour. After the
rest day, Koolen will be able to continue writing this story
started with a small portal to search hotels on the internet and has
become one of those many crazy stories of the engine that is
feature in the bivouac