South African bike riders Kirsten Landman and Taye Perry are the first women from Africa ever to complete the gruelling Dakar Rally on a motorcycle. The race took place in Saudi Arabia this year from January 5 to 17.
Landman finished in a tremendous third place of the ladies overall, a highly prestigious achievement. She finished in the 55th position overall out of 144 entries, and her sponsor Ryobi posted a picture to congratulate her:
Perry finished 77th, a spectacular achievement considering only 93 of the 144 finished the race.
“I’ve always been a dark horse, the privateer, the wild card who takes the pack by surprise… it’s because I’m rather short and small, which makes me unassuming. That’s until you witness my skill and finesse on a big 450cc motorcycle. I love what I do,” Perry told Good Things Guy.
This annual off-road rally is open to amateur and professional entries, but amateurs typically make up about 80 percent of the participants. The race is notorious for being extremely hard and one competitor, Paulo Goncalves from Portugal, tragically lost his life during the 2020 race. The distances of each stage covered vary from short distances up to 800 to 900 kilometres per day.