After 16 agonising days, only half of the competitors that started the 2006 Euromilhões Lisbon to Dakar Rally reached the end at Dakar today.
Race to Dakar rider and six-times competitor, Simon Pavey was one of the lucky ones to finish the race and in an impressive 86th position. His BMW team-mates of Charley Boorman and Matt Hall were forced to withdraw during the event due to injury and sheer exhaustion.
Today's 15th stage, which started and finished in Dakar included a short 31km special around Lac Rose. Over the years, the run has become a motor sport classic. It's here where some competitors are still tempted to go after a handful of seconds to hoist themselves up one or two places in the overall classification. Others quietly soak up the atmosphere and battle with the reality that they have actually finished this immense event. Either way, it's a day for competitors to enjoy.
In memory of the two children that sadly died during the passage of the Dakar caravan in Guinea and Senegal, the Lac Rose special today was not timed. The official times for the final standings of the 2006 Euromilhões Lisbon to Dakar Rally were therefore those registered after stage 14 between Tambacounda and Dakar.
93 motorcyclists, 64 car crews and 33 trucks eventually made it to the finish line of the 28th Euromilhões Lisbon to Dakar Rally. Marc Coma on two wheels and Luc Alphand in the car race were both crowned winners for the first time. Vladimir Chagin, behind the steering wheel of his Kamaz conquered his fifth title.
Mick Extance secured the best finishing position for the Brits in 27th position. Fellow Brit Nick Plumb rode his BMW F650 GS Dakar to finish in 78th position. Patsy Quick was the first British woman to finish the Dakar and secured 88th place. Her team-mate Clive Town was in 89th position.
Marc Coma dedicated his first ever Dakar success "for Andy Caldecott" his KTM-Repsol team-mate who died earlier this week.