Takudzwa Chitsiga Sports Reporter
DAKAR Rally 2020-bound Zimbabwean rider, Graeme Sharp, has upped his preparations after he completed the Rallye du Maroc in Morocco last week.
Sharp wants to become the first Zimbabwean rider to finish the Dakar Rally on a motorbike after he qualified as part of the BAS Racing KTM Team.
The team includes fellow Southern Africans Ross Branch, Kirsten Landman and Kenny Gilbert.
“After completing my toughest rally to date, I’m pleased to be in one piece physically after a calculated, measured ride over some of the most spectacular terrain Morocco has to offer,’’ Sharp said.
“I certainly learnt a great deal and will take away further information and ideas as I prepare for Dakar (Rally) in January.”
Sharp came 35th in the FIM bike class, a good result in a very competitive, Dakar laden line-up that included the best in the world, including Toby Price, who has won the Dakar Rally twice.
He has been working closely with trainer Grant Mitchell with four training sessions a week to improve his fitness and get himself race ready.
Grant has worked as the strength and conditioning coach to many of Zimbabwe’s great sports-people, including swimming legend Kirsty Coventry, Bright Chipoongo, female rower Micheen Thornycroft, motocross rider Tanya Muzinda, the Zimbabwe Warriors and the Zimbabwe national sevens rugby team.
For the Rallye Du Maroc, Sharp rode for six days and covered almost 3 000km — the equivalent of racing around Zimbabwe’s border — through dunes, camel grass, rocks, mountain passes, alpine lakes and river valleys.
Navigation is a key aspect of the Dakar Rally and Sharp is attending a rally camp from the October 14-19 in Barcelona with Jordi Viladoms (KTM Rally Manager) to get some insight into navigation, preparation and mechanical support.