At Dakar, Canucks drop like flies


Another one bites the dust

Monday, January 4 — Seven Canadians entered the 2010 version of the Dakar Rally, and after the fourth day, only one is left.

Conditions have been brutal as the competitors travelled west from Buenos Aires toward the Andes Mountains and Chile, with temperatures ranging up into the mid-40s C, heavy sand, poor gas that caused problems for many, and heavy rains on day 3.

Patrick Trahan of Montreal (Honda) is ranked 95th of 114 still riding after Stage 3, 47 riders having already fallen by the wayside including the four other Canadian riders who entered: Rick Hatswell, Don Hatton, Dirk Kessler (now living in the U.S. but still a Canadian), and Andrew Scott.

Hatswell had to give up after bike issues and a severe battering to the leg he broke last year; Hatton had to quit after suffering severe flu-like symptoms, heat prostration, and problems with bad fuel that made him too late to be classed a finisher in Stage 3. No word yet on what happened to the others.

Lawrence Hacking, one of the few Canadian who’ve ever finished the Dakar, entered in the car category this year with Christian Girouard of Ottawa, but their machine was out at the start of the second stage.

After Stage 3, Frenchman Cyril Despres (KTM) has grabbed his first stage victory on this 32nd edition of the Dakar and the 19th of his career. More importantly, the Andorra resident has taken overall control, 10 minutes ahead of David Casteu (France, on a Sherco) and 18 minutes in front of Helder Rodrigues (Portugal, on a Yamaha), whereas pre-event favourite Spaniard Marc Coma (KTM) lies back in eighth place, 42 minutes behind the leader.


  1. Still no e-mail reply from OLN… so after some web research, OLN is owned by Rogers and managed by CityTV, called them, was told they are still “deciding” if they’ll show it or not… So I guess they won’t since we’re already on Stage 6 of the rally… If they do it’ll be a re-run shown in a month or so… lame lame lame

  2. “And I think there was another guy between 2001-2005 but I don’t remember his name.”

    Tha would be Guy Giroux, who finished 16th overall, and is the best Canadian finisher in the Dakar to date.

  3. Slight correction: Lawrence Hacking was the FIRST Canadian to finish a Dakar rally in 2001, not the only one since. Bob Bergman did it in 2005. And I think there was another guy between 2001-2005 but I don’t remember his name…

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