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Adrien Van Beveren at the 2017 Dakar Rally

Van Beveren comes so close to Dakar podium as 2017 edition wraps in Argentina

Jan 152017

Yamaha’s Adrien Van Beveren set out to negotiate his second attempt at the Dakar Rally with the primary aim to gain more experience and learn more intricacies of the world’s toughest race that passes over 8000km and through three countries in twelve stages. The 26 year old rode superbly through flooded and technical conditions and will ultimately have bittersweet memories of the 39th edition of this famous trek after winning the last stage in Argentina and missing out on the final podium by just 48 seconds.

The Frenchman suffered from several mistakes in the decisive stage ten of twelve to drop behind Spaniard Gerard Farres and a minute’s penalty on the eleventh route caused further frustration for what had otherwise been a superb campaign by the sand specialist. He beat his far more experienced teammate, Helder Rodrigues, and rode with an energy and consistent intelligence to also put other more grizzled rivals firmly in the shade.

“It was a very special Dakar and I'm happy I've reached the finish line; the emotions and satisfaction you get when you reach the end is beyond words,” he said after bettering the sixth position taken on his debut twelve months earlier. “I gave my all today to reduce the gap to third but the special was too short to make any difference. Since the start of the event we showed we're capable to battle for the top and that's a big success for all the team. We proved we have a very competitive and ultra-reliable bike that is able to win stages. As for me, I can honestly say everything went according to plan. I did my own race, attacking when I wanted to and staying fast and consistent from start to end. This was just my second Dakar and I already feel I know so much more. I won't lie saying that a podium wouldn't have felt better, but we take the positives out of this adventure and keep on working as hard as ever.”