Gesina Pol gets back in Dakar
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT: Gesina Pol makes a comeback to the Dakar as assistant team manager of the HRC Honda team.
Although the stands at administrative scrutineering on this first day have a strong South American accent, Gesina Pol, the Dutch woman rider, feels perfectly at home.
After five ‘Dakars’ four of which she completed, Pol has not been racing since 2011 but has remained active in the rally-raid discipline. As assistant team manager of the HRC Honda team, she has come this Wednesday January 2, 2013, to complete the formalities for all the assistance team:
“It's a major structure with lots of Japanese technicians and mechanics. So, since I know the circuit, I prefer to be here to make sure it all gets done as quickly as possible.”
Having taken part in the 2006, 2007 and 2009 editions (in the last of which she won the Women's bike category, Pol rode again in 2010 (but was forced to drop out) and 2011 (finishing 66th).
It was a valuable experience to help her contribute to managing the race for one of the favourites of this 35th edition: Helder Rodrigues, who has finished on the podium the last two years behind the duo of Cyril Despres and Marc Coma.
What's more, in Gesina's team, she will also have to coach fiery Argentinean rider Javier Pizzolito (27th in 2011) and the American legend of the bajas, Johnny Campbell. However, Gesina Pol is also thinking about herself:
“I'm working to return to the Dakar but in good condition, both in terms of preparation and participation, so that I can take part in two consecutive Dakars and really be on top form.”