Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Dakar rally and Robby Gordon

I don't know how many people follow the Dakar rally in America, but it's been spectacular again this year. Set again in Chile and Argentina (because of political unrest in Africa), it's been a mad charge across all sorts of terrain from rocky river beds to soaring sand dunes. The quads, bikes, cars and trucks have all been exciting to watch, as usual. The sense of sportsmanship was alive and well with many riders and drivers stopping at the expense of their stage time to help others out. Early on for example, Luca Manca stopped and gave Marc Coma his rear wheel off his bike. Not on the same team, just because he knew Coma needed it and was angling for a win. Sadly, the very next day, Manca spiralled over the handlebars of his own bike and fractured his skull - that was the end of his rally, but that's what the Dakar is all about; extremes of hardship and victory in equal measures.
With one notable exception - again. American Robby Gordon was brimming with entitlement, assuming he deserved to win. He failed two years ago, he failed last year, and ultimately, he failed this year. He never stopped to help anyone out. He never had a good word to say about any of his competitors. And he always blamed his mechanics or his vehicle for each day's failure. The Dakar is about sportsmanship and a sense of community amongst all the competitors and the huge bivouac or caravan that supports the rally. For the third year in a row, Gordon treated the entire event with a level of contempt that makes me believe he should go home with his tail between his legs and never come back. He's an arrogant S.O.B who has no place in an international sporting event.


Mystery Girl said...

Trucks! -excuse me I think we only saw a couple of trucks in passing and a different shot of Chagin going over a dune each night. Plus the commentator who doesn't know what to do with his hands so he clasps them like a virgin vicar. Love the Dakar - think Versus do a bad job of showcasing it.

Mystery Girl said...

and yes Robby Gordon is a twat.

The "other" Ressell's said...

Did you hear his comment after the penultimate stage? Something to the effect of "this result is just not good enough. We will come back with a new car next year. We wanted to win this year"

The day that git wins the Dakar is the day I stop watching the event.

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me, what Dakar were you following.

How many times did Carlos Sainz. Al-Attiyah, Miller or Peterhansel stop for!! Can you say - ZERO!! Robby did have mechanical issues:tire inflator system and alternator. One navigational error and he stated that both he and Grider agreeded on the direction. Not once did he blame his crew, he had nothing but praise for them.

A private person (Robby) puts together a multi million dollar effort to head to Dakar, you bet your a$$ he wants to win. If not, he would sit at home and throw stones like you are, you douch.

A bit arrogant, yes. A bit cocky, yes. But he put on a show like no other driver there. Do you think the fans that were there liked it - you bet your a$$.

You should really put a little more thought and research into what you write and spew from your cake hole.

The day Robby stops going to Daker will be the day I stop watching.

MerlotMax - proud supporter of Robby Gordon and member of

Chris said...

Anonymous: Nice name-calling.
And douche is spelled with an "e" on the end :-)

Anyway - that's the whole point. It's not about "the show". That's all Robby Gordon is good at - showing off. Nobody else jumped the start ramp, or did doughnuts in the parking areas. Gordon wouldn't even stop for his own team mate when he got stuck in a ditch. He drove straight by. Bystanders and spectators had to pull him out by hand.
Every time they interviewed Gordon on Versus, he complained about the map book being wrong (four times), or the mechanics not doing their job properly (three times), or people "getting in his way". (referring to the guy who's won more Dakar Rallys and stages than Robby Gordon has had hot dinners).

As for Robby Gordon being a privateer? Nope. Did you see the Monster Energy logos and sponsorship all over his vehicles? That's called a team. A privateer is someone who races their own bike or car on their own dime. There were plenty of them this year, and Robby Gordon was most definitely not one of them.

Finally - the day he stops racing Dakar is the day you stop watching? (By the way, it's Dakar, not Daker) Works for me. That implies you've only been watching for three years in which case it's debatable whether you have any grasp of what the Dakar is about.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the spelling corrections. I do get a bit ahead of myself.

Since you have followed Dakar for a while, then you are aware how some teams like Robby's operates. Robby runs the #1 truck, the sole purpose of the 351 truck was as support. BJ was there to assist Robby, not the other way around. I'm sure if it was serious Robby would have stopped. But because he was stuck in a ditch, with people to help?
I could just see Sainz stopping for Miller to get him out of a ditch. Or Al-Alliyah passing up a win to help Sainz with a flat tire.

As far as your count of Robby's blame, I will have to go back and watch the SBS coverage. Who in the past, was who Versus bought their coverage from. I cannot verify that for this year as Versus coverage was not carried on the Outdoor Life Network here in Canada. But I do not recall him bashing his crew in any way.

I take it your one comment is about when he tapped Sainz. From what I understand, Carlos asked if he could go around Robby during the stage. Robby agreed and let him by. Then Carlos slowed down and Robby caught up. Andy sounded the Sentinal numerous time, which were ignored. Then came the Baja bump.

Robby had/has every right to run as fast as he could. Sure, he was out of contetion for the overall win but if a driver a few spots in front of him had an issue (ie:Sainz's roll over last year) he could still move up. What racer is not out for the win or get the best finish possible.

A privateer is one who has no factory/manufacturer backing. Not one who runs without any sponorship I don't recall Monster building any vehicles. Just like the Mitsubishi's this year.

I have followed the Dakar for many years. It has only been since RG has run that I catch every stage. FYI, Robby first ran Dakar in 2005 for VW, but I guess you missed that one.


Chris said...

SBS eh? That's good to know. We're stuck with Versus down here in the colonies and their coverage sucked. 30 minute wrap up every night with almost no coverage of the quads and trucks. I'll have to see if there's copies of the SBS shows on the torrents next year so maybe we'll be able to see a decent coverage.

I know RG was in the 2005 rally. My reference to "three years" was meant to be "three years of the rally". 2005, 2006, 2007.
2008 was canceled (ludicrously because of "security" concerns). AFAIR everyone lost their entry fees that year.

Anonymous said...

SBS is the same coverage that you get on Versus, it is what they/Versus buy. S.O.S. as they say. Found some other coverage here