“Malle-moto, but with a truck!”
In his eight Dakars with the bike Ricard de Groot made it to the finish seven times. Always in the malle-moto class, without assistance. After a learning year in the truck with Ed Wigman, as fast assistance to the Riwald Dakar team, this time Richard de Groot is joining the party with his own truck. But as we know by now, De Groot never does it the easy way. He takes part in the Dakar all by himself: no assistance truck, not even a 4x4 with a mechanic and some spare parts. On top of that De Groot, who has been a voluntary fireman for 14 years, is joined by two other firemen, both debutants in the Dakar. As a real Firemen Dakar Team suits, they painted the truck in the colours of a fire engine. Only the flashing lights and sirens are missing.
“I'm used to doing everything by myself as a biker in the malle-moto. And since we don't have the budget to enter a service team or even rent service, we decided to do this on our own as well. So we are doing the Dakar as malle-moto with the truck. Of course it is a big difference to do it with the truck, compared to the bike. We bring what it necessary: a set of spare wheels, a spare turbo, a shaft and a generator. It will be hard, because we will have to do the maintenance of the truck ourselves. For us the Dakar is one continuing marathon stage of fourteen days. I think it is possible. As firemen we are used to little sleep, stressful situations and finding solutions at the spot. To me the Dakar is a mix of hobby, holidays and challenge. It's the adventure that attracts me. This way it is the ultimate adventure.”