“Winning the stage was magic”
Never before Pascal de Baar had even been close to a top 10 in the Dakar. As a back-up rider he had to stay behind his captain to come to the rescue when needed. But with his captain Martin van den Brink out of the Dakar 2016 in an early stage Pascal de Baar could do whatever he wanted. Much to everybody's surprise De Baar did extremely well, finishing in the top 10 several times and even winning one of the toughest stages of the 2016 edition: stage 10. Teamwork, with faultless driving by De Baar, faultless navigation by Wouter de Graaff and faultless technical work by Martin Roesink did the job. Coming from that high going back to their daily routines -De Baar as a salesman for used trucks mainly in Africa, De Graaff as a mechanic with road service patrol- wasn't the easiest thing. But with the next challenge coming up, and now knowing what they are capable of, the team is full of hope and confidence for another good result.
When you live the Dakar once, it becomes part of your life. I started back in 2005 on a bike. Despite being busy with work, you always think about the Dakar. It's in my system. Winning that stage, the toughest one of the Dakar, was magic. We've used all our experience from riding in the back of the field, when we made all the possible mistakes. By winning that stage, we accomplished something we never thought was possible. We've learned a lot from last year, and gained a lot of confidence. Over the year we've done a lot of testing with the Renault truck, that was brand new last year, and since has improved in every respect. I think we did a good job so far.”