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Racing veteran Robbie Allan told he's 'too old' to race Paris Dakar

Published: 18 June 2007

Updated: 24 November 2014

A veteran racer has been told by organisers of the Paris Dakar rally that he’s too old to take part in next year’s race. 

The experienced 66-year-old Robbie Allen competed in last year’s event and was running competitively when his engine problems forced him to retire from the rally over mid-race distance.

However Emilie Pocan, spokesperson for the Paris Dakar Rally told MCN: “We don’t want to take the risk if something happens to him; a lot of people really don’t like the Dakar and say it is dangerous.

“It’s because he’s old and has asthma. He showed us last year that he’s great on a bike and a very skilled rider and I know he passed the physical tests but we don’t want to take a risk.”

A dejected Robbie Allen told MCN: “I’m so angry at their decision. They’re frightened that I’m going to embarrass them – I’ve just heard so many excuses.

“Last year we asked if there is an age limit and they said: ‘Yes, you have to be 18’ and now they’re saying I’m too old. I did well last year but was taking things steady, I was 100 per cent convinced that in 2008 and with a wee bit of luck I’d have done well… but now I won’t get a chance.”

Last year Allen was one of Eurosport’s ‘Legends of the Dakar’ and won the hearts of many fans. He has competed in motorcycle events from trials, road racing to speedway for more than 50 years.

If you’d like to support Allen’s Dakar bid then sign MCN’s own petition on and we’ll mail your responses to the Dakar organisers.

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