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.