Last Brit out of Dakar

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Chris Cork, the last remaining British rider competing in Dakar has been forced out of the race having reached stage 11 of the grueling race.

The 45 year old had already overcome major adversity to get through the opening week of the race which included having to ride for over 40 miles without a rear tyre earlier in the race.

Despite putting it all on the line to get to Dakar and clearly push him self to the limit during the event, Cork remains philosophical about his retirement and posted his thoughts on his Facebook page. It said:

"The main track was completely un-rideable due to trucks and cars. The bike just would not go in that amount of soft sand.

"I had to ride off piste, which was great, but to get to waypoints it was back onto the main tracks.

"The bike was in 1st gear, full throttle, clutch out but the engine could not turn the wheel in these conditions. Once into this terrain the only way out was to get off the bike and push. I literally wasted hours trying to find a way out from the soft stuff at every point.

"Anything more than flat terrain and the bike would not!!!! I battled on into the night but then came across the biggest hill climb of soft sand I have seen.

"It was endless and after many different route attempts and having to push the bike I had to throw in the towel. I called control to say I would get some sleep and continue in the morning and they agreed .

"At 3am I was then called and told I could no longer continue – it was Game Over.

"It’s easy to look back and say what if. Everything started to snowball effect after the joys of Day 4. Battling at the back was always going to be difficult. The day I went out I wasted an hour, along with many other riders, trying to find way point 7 – in hindsight I should have taken the penalty and carried on. Also I should not have spent 45minutes helping another rider with no fuel!!!

"I gave it my all and I can sleep well knowing that,  but yes I’m devastated.

"There will be no other Dakar attempt. The stresses on family and money needed cannot be repeated.”

For full interview see MCN on Wednesday 20th January.

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Michael Guy

By Michael Guy

Sports Editor, former 250-racer and adventure rider