Despite being a 20 year veteran of the world’s toughest off road race; when Nani Roma dropped the clutch and roared off the start line of the 2019 Dakar Rally, it was a tense moment.
Not just because 10 days and 3,100 miles of the most unforgiving terrain lay ahead of him. But also because 12 months earlier - at the 2018 edition of the infamous off road race - Nani’s charge ended abruptly on day three with a high speed crash, and resulting head and neck injuries.
The 46 year old Spanish racer remained steely-eyed all the same though, and after an intense battle of attrition against the clock and the elements of Peru’s dune-filled coast line, he and co-driver Alex Haro crossed the finish-line in second place.
Just 46 minutes behind overall winner Nasser Al-Attiyah, Nani’s consistent and unrelenting pace during the 41st edition of the Dakar left all his other rivals in the dust - including nine time WRC Champion Sebastien Loeb, Dakar Legend Jakub Prezygonski, former five time Dakar winner Cyril Despres and 2009 Dakar winner Giniel de Villiers.