The race hasn’t begun yet, but we have already had the true hero of the 2019 Dakar Rally - Nicola Dutto (IT).
Photo credit:Credit: news.dreamracer
Nicola Dutto is a professional motorbike rider. During his career he won many races, with the Italian and European Baja Championship in 2008 and 2009 as major highlights. But the life of this man completely changedwhen he broke his spinal cord in an accident during the Italian Baja in March 2010.
Nicola lost all feeling below his navel.Holding his balance was a huge challenge. And it was really impossible to hold the balance when sitting on a motorbike. The accident left him in a wheel chair.
Despite all challenges, passion for motorbiking remained. Nine months after getting out of the hospital bed, in November 2011, Nicola decided to return to racing and take part in the legendary Baja 1000 on a Polaris Buggy, the vehicle, modified for his needs.
“I will take on the challenge to compete on a motorbike again” – Nicola announced after this race.
Surrounded by the support and the trust of the people around him, his wife Elena and KTM Italy, and, of course, having a great passion for the off-road, Nicola Duttolaunched another challenge to himself: he participated in the 500 km long Baja Aragon and became the first paraplegic motorbike rider!
This was just the beginning! There were many other races: the Baja 500 in Mexico (440 mile) and the “Vegas to Reno”(530 miles). He continued racing on world stages like the F.I.M. Baja World (2015), Best in the Desert (2016) and Merzouga (2017).Still there is one goal left for Nicola… Riding the Dakar Rally!
On the 6th of January 2019 Nicola Dutto took the start of the Dakar rally, one of the sandiest edition, on his KTM 450. The race ends later in Lima on the 17th.This year’s Baja Aragon has been challenging for even the most experienced teams, but Nicola’s intense preparation and hard training paid off.
“I will compete with a KTM equipped with a special roll-bar to protect my legs, that I have developed, and on the handlebar I have the buttons for the rear and front brake, the change gear and to accelerate. I’m actually tied to the bike. I won’t be alone. I will share this adventure with 3 other drivers who will escort me one riding in front, one on each side and one behind me. It’s a team work. We have competed together the Dakar Series as the Merzouga Rally and the Morocco Rally.I take the start of the 2019 Dakar Rally motivated to give the maximum. I’m fascinated by the idea to spend many hours on the bike pushing forward my physical and mental limits. And nothing scares me”.
Currently Nicola lives in Italy with his wife Elena. Together they manage a driving school for motorbiking where Nicola shares his experience with people who want to learn how to ride a motorbike.They serve handicapped and non-handicapped people.
Nicola Dutto is a true hero. Do you agree?!