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Dakar Rally 2018: Capetonian rider set to take on gruelling Malle Moto class

2017-12-19 09:03

Image: Supplied

Cape Town  - Only a handful of South Africans have ever completed the Dakar Rally, let alone competed in its Malle Moto class – an entirely unassisted race covering a gruelling 8276 kilometres in the harshest terrain.

This has however been the lifelong dream of Capetonian, Donovan van de Langenberg, and in just a few weeks it looks set to become a reality.

'Malle Moto is something else'

Only a handful of South Africans have ever completed the Dakar Rally, let alone competed in its Malle Moto class – an entirely unassisted race covering a gruelling 8276 kilometres in the harshest terrain. This has however been the lifelong dream of Capetonian, Donovan van de Langenberg, and in just a few weeks it looks set to become a reality.

From 6 to 20 January 2018, he’ll be among a group of just 20 racers from around the world who will take on the Malle Moto Class in the 40th edition of the rally.

Starting in Peru in South America, passing through Bolivia and ending in Argentina, this is the ultimate test of man and machine. 

The 37-year-old father of two says that Malle Moto is something else.

"Loosely translated, Malle Moto means ‘…man and metal box’. The metal box refers to a container that’s small enough for a man to carry. It holds enough basics to ensure that the rider is able to survive and do basic repairs on their bike during the 14 days,” he says. 

"It’s the one thing that does get transported by truck for us daily, to our overnight stopping point."

Van de Langenberg says that in the Malle Moto class, all of the riders face the same challenges – physical, mental or technical – as the other rally competitors.

What sets them apart is that they face them alone – they are not allowed outside assistance, so no support crew and no back-up team. 

Image: Supplied

“Malle Moto riders spend anything from 10 to 14 hours on their bike per day before they complete a stage. At the end of a leg there is a split second to catch your breath and have a bite to eat; then its preparation of the road book for the next day’s stage and setting up the tent before getting to work fixing the day’s damages to your bike,” he says. 

“Once all of that’s done, you manage perhaps five hours sleep… that’s five hours sleep per night for 14 days straight.”

Van de Langenberg adds that he’s spent the past five years striving towards making his Malle Moto dream a reality. 

“I’ve competed in every local rally to make sure I am as prepared as can be for this. Since 2013, I’ve finished in the top three of four of the five major rallies I’ve competed in.”

Rider Profile: Donovan van de Langenberg
Nationality: South African
Height: 1.78 m
Weight: 70kg
Vehicle: 2016 KTM 450 Rally Factory Replica                 
Personal Crew: None
Current Supporters: African Unity Life, Transcape Steel, Tandem Cranes, eddy2race, Sasolburg Scrap Metal, Bolt Fast, Group Five, LRJ Steel, Advanced Galvanising and LMV  Consulting Engineers

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Read more on:    ktm  |  dakar 2018  |  peru  |  motorsport  |  motorcycle  |  rally

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