From the South shores of Montreal hails Canada’s next Dakar competitor and is no stranger to the gruelling competition having completed the event in a 2011 as a navigator in a vehicle. But this year, competition will be slightly different as Patrick Beaule aims to be the first Canadian to complete the Dakar in both a vehicle (2011) and on a motorcycle.
Patrick is a seasoned two-wheeled rider having competed in numerous races and two years of the ISDE (International Six Days Enduro). Between training, competing and working (he works for KTM), Patrick lives and breathes motorcycles.
A self-proclaimed dreamer, there isn’t much on his wish list that he hasn’t realized and Dakar is top dream to come to fruition. “I am super pumped but nervous,” said Beaule in a telephone interview. Pumped to compete but nervous about the expenses involved in Dakar competition. For example, $14,800 EURO (22,000) to register, a KTM 450 Factory Rally replica bike comes in at around $45,000, and at the time of our interview, both expenses had just been paid.
As the for the bike, even though Beaule works for KTM Canada, the expense of the bike is all his own responsibility. The bike is 450cc engine, on a 690 chassis with modifications for extra gas, fairing, anti vibration handlebar clamps to have a perfect super smooth ride, large capacity crank case, cushion drive sprocket carrier to reduce all the impact on the chain, sprocket, transmission gear to extend the life of the transmission and more. Beaule had the bike delivered in England and shipped to Holland where he recently returned from breaking in engine and then sending bike on the boat from France to Lima, Peru.
The day after the 2011 Dakar finished, Beaule decided to compete in 2013. The decision has occupied his thoughts every day and by May 15, he handed over $8000 and on May 31 had to commit to the bike. To date, the costs are only a fraction of what is to come so Beaule is fundraising as much as he can to help ease the financial pain of the 9,000 km endurance race.
“I want people to feel and understand the event. I want people to experience the event with me,” said Beaule.
To make Canada proud, Beaule is doing everything he can to maximize his experience with the ultimate goal “to stay alive and keep the bike in shape, finish and become first Canadian to finish on two and four wheels.” His third goal, (one to compete, two to stay alive and finish) a top 30 finish. “I think this year everything is aligned to make it happen,” said Beaule. “With my past years of racing, my speed may be a challenge but the riding skill is there, my head is ready to race the Dakar and my six days experience is in my pocket.”
Aside from a year physical training, Beaule feels that talking with other competitors is another way to prepare and gain knowledge about the competition.
Having tackled the early preparation on his own, Beaule quickly realized that one rider’s competition requires a team of people to help make it happen. There is more to do before the event than during the actual event. The team would prepare the ground work enabling Bealue to focus on training and competition to get physically and mentally ready for the Dakar including racing hare scrambles series – 45% street, 55% off-road (50/50 track and desert) – two day street training on knobbies, two days 900km (700 km off road) – 800 km 1672 in two days on a 350 exe for mental prep. By December, cross-fit training will be added to the regime but Bealue is intent on taking three weeks rest leading up to his departure.
As the clock exits 2012, Beaule will be on a plane headed for South America as scrutineering begins on January 2 with the race kicking off January 5.
The number of entrants into the Dakar will be announced Wednesday.