These days Saudi Arabia is playing
host to a new edition of the Dakar Rally. This is the first time the rally is
being held in the Arabic Peninsula, after being held for 30 years in Africa and
for 10 years in South America. Also for the first time, the rally is hosted by
several countries. Every year, competitors enroll in one of the three main
categories: motorcycles, cars and trucks. Romania is represented by Marcel
Butuza and Emanuel Gyenes in the motorcycle competition.
This is Gyenes's 10th
participation in the Dakar Rally. To mark this special achievement, organizers
have labeled him a competition "legend" and we have designated Emanuel Gyenes
Athlete of the Week on RRI.
Emanuel Gyenes was born in Satu
Mare, northern Romania, on March 3, 1984. He made his debut in the Dakar Rally
in 2007, when he finished 47th. In the nine editions he took part in
so far, Gyenes managed to finish the race seven times. He won the Marathon
category twice, in 2011 and 2014. The Marathon competition doesn't allow any
modifications on the bike, including its engine. In 2016, he grabbed Romania's
all-time best performance in the Dakar Rally, ranking 14.
This year Gyenes is competing in
the Malle Moto category, the most difficult of all. No external assistance is
permitted, while the gear allowed is limited. Bikers race during the day and
work on their bikes during the night. Competitors lay out their own tents and
feed on whatever supplies they've packed. Considering the harsh conditions of
the Arabian desert, competing in this class may seem like an adventure.
Let us also note that Emanuel
Gyenes is competing this year on behalf of Autonet Motorcycle team, racing on a
KTM 450 bike.
(Translated by V. Palcu)