The "Trail Desert Challenge" (TDC) will be the additional Raid-event for the new-organized FIA- and FIM-World Cup Rally "Rallye du Maroc" of ODC Events by David Castera. The former Biker, Dakar Sport Director and codriver of Cyril Despres in the factory Peugeot Dakar-team and his team are now responsible for the Morocco-Rally - and the combinated TDC. In an interview Castera is talking about this event.
David can you tell us for whom and why the TDC (Trail Desert Challenge) was created?
The Trail Desert Challenge has been designed specifically for people with a taste for adventure and a love of wide open spaces, who want a complete break from their daily routine. It is suitable for standard adventure bikes of all sizes, fitted with off-road tyres.
What if you don’t have a suitable bike or you live on the other side of the world?
It doesn’t make a lot of sense to buy a bike specially for participating in the TDC, nor to ship one from far away places like, America or Australia. For longer distances we’ve drawn up a list of rental companies that can deliver bikes to the start. While some people will want to rent, others will want to ride all the way to Morocco. For them we’ve put in place a system where they can pre-order off-road tyres and have them fitted by us when they arrive. Other participants will want to ‘fly-ride’ with their own bikes and we have various transport solutions available for them and their machines.
You’ve fixed the price at 3500 €. What does that include?
Our goal has been to create an event of the highest quality where everybody feels at home. The price includes a great deal of organisational know-how and a number of quality services. One of our major preoccupations has been to create a route that has been carefully designed to show off the full splendour of the Moroccan desert. With details like mint tea breaks in incredible remote spots, proper lunches under Jaima tents, quality hotels and bivouacs for a good night’s rest. Participants will be accompanied by well-known riders (such as David Frétigné, a previous winner of the Rallye du Maroc and Dakar podium finisher) who will share both their passion and experience.
There will be a workshop truck with mechanics and spare parts, and another truck to transport everybody’s luggage. Safety will be covered by doctors in 4x4s and we can also use the Rallye du Maroc’s helicopter if necessary. In addition participants will be covered by repatriation insurance. The price also includes all the various challenges and results, as well as the rental of the specially adapted Tripy electronic road book with its tracking system. Finally there is the proximity to the Rallye du Maroc, with access to the marathon bivouac, the assistance bivouacs and the gala prize ceremony.
What exactly is the relationship between the Rallye du Maroc and the Trail Desert Challenge?
What we wanted to avoid at all costs was simply creating another category of the Rallye du Maroc. The TDC is a stand-alone event but at the same time a unique opportunity to get right up close to a round of the rally raid world championships and see the best riders in the world go about their daily business. Apart from the rally competitors, only participants in the TDC will be allowed access to the marathon bivouac. Even the factory team’s assistance can’t do that.
On the first day TDC participants will be able to watch the start of the bike special and will later see the cars in action out on the piste. Then they will ride to their own hotel and focus on their own adventure until the third day when they will ride into the marathon bivouac. The fourth and fifth days they will also meet up with the rally and take part in the final prize giving ceremony.
So the TDC participants will have their own route. What will that be like exactly?
The route will be made up of 50% off-road, 40% tarmac and 10% off-piste and be completely different to that of the Rallye du Maroc. There are some fantastic roads in Morocco where Adventure bikes will be in their element. The off-road will make up the majority of the route, with the off-piste sections optional.
The distances will be between 200 and 300 kilometers per day. The route will be accessible to everyone, with more demanding options for those who want to try and tackle them.
The route will be punctuated by different challenges: navigation exercises where you will try to find the shortest route, regularity sections where you will have to try to maintain an average speed and finally bike control tests where stopping or putting a foot down will be penalised. All this will be computed into an overall result that will also be broken down into different categories. But none of these challenges will be compulsory and everybody will be free to tackle their own adventure as they see fit. Participants’ only obligation will be to have good time!
Photos: ODC Events, Red Bull Content Pool
TRAIL DESERT CHALLENGE RALLYE DU MAROC
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