Dakar 2023: Javi Vega, without his other half, for the Original title


Spain still has several options to succeed in different categories of Dakar 2023. Oriol Vidal, co-driver of Rokas Baciuska, leads the overall T4 (light vehicle) with Oriol Mena in second position as Eryk Gokzal’s co-driver. And on motorcycles, on Original by Motul category, without help and sleeping in a tent Spain has another good candidate: Javi Vega, current leader of the general classification of the purest type of the whole rally.

Vega (03/18/1985 in Madrid) will start this Saturday special, the penultimate stage of the Dakar, with only 2 minutes and 36 seconds ahead of second, Chaaran Moore. He does it with a disadvantage: the special will continue to be favorable to the South African, fast in the sands and in the open fields, while his style is more suited to the rocks and paths.

Vega will fight it all and this Friday, while attending the MD at the Sahybah bivouac, he already felt the butterflies in his stomach because of the pressure and competition. But it was clear to him that he would not risk more than necessary. “I’d rather be second than get off the podium.” He won’t do crazy things and is focused on going at his own pace.

The clock will pass the judgment, but whatever happens, he will enjoy living an experience that in principle he does not want to repeat. What he wants is to “be with Sara”. He refers to his lover, his life partner, also a pilot Sara García, whom he transferred in the previous Dakar 2022 with a request for a hand on the final podium that went worldwide.

Compete without your other half

For him, running without a zamorana is just casual, because García had to undergo surgery on the cruciate ligament of the knee, an injury that lasts a long time. Now he’s living a “different experience,” he says. But his philosophy was different. Together with Sara, Javi works as a backpacker to help him fight for Dakar victory on a motorcycle in the women’s category after last year the woman from Zamora achieved the support of Yamaha Europe for the 2022 Dakar. They gave him a motorcycle and help. There is also help for Javi, but he rejects it: “I’d rather live in Dakar with this family”, refers to the Dakarian family that comes together in the Original class, where friendship reigns to fix their bikes after stages and share unique life experiences.

With Sara García he has done 4 Dakars. They arrived in 2019 with the goal of becoming the first Spanish woman to land in the Original. García’s engine has said enough in stage 4 and they will reach it in 2020. In 2021 they repeat, with the man from Madrid reaching the finish line after doing the last 170 km with broken ribs, pneumothorax and hemothorax. “I couldn’t stop because Sara got ahead of me so I continued”, he laughs remembering MD in Shaybah. And in 2022 they relive the adventure together. This year, he has to do it without his great partner in exploits.

“The other Dakars are more adventure. I feel good about my partner’s adventure trip. I come from the race and not the adventure, with all that stress entails… I’m used to it. I had a better time with him. Although now I am fighting for the victory in the category, I prefer to go with Sara, she takes away that tension”.

Javi is used to that pressure because of the results of his skiing past, with the Spanish national team. He practiced alpine skiing and then Freestyle (free skiing) as a professional. He left the competition to put an end to the competitive pressure he now feels in this Dakar.

He may follow in Pedrosa’s footsteps

Vega has been skiing since he was 3 years old and riding an enduro motorcycle since he was 10. At the age of 16, he secretly appeared in a speed test for the Movistar Cup, where Dani appeared Pedrosa, for example. He came home with a contract in which he had to pay 6,000 euros and the cup covered all other expenses. At the same time, he was accepted as a scholarship holder at a ski training school in Andorra. It is completely free, and the family chose the latter.

One chance changed his life

After skiing, his life changed by chance. A ‘freestyle’ partner told him to go to Morocco on a motorcycle with his fatherwho went to Dakar twice. He enjoyed the ski-like feeling surfing the dunes on two wheels. Fall in love with that.

The following year he wanted to do it again, but he couldn’t go because his friend wasn’t there. And on the other hand, he decided to go alone with his friend’s father. I don’t want a year to go by without living those feelings. What he didn’t know was that this second trip would change his life forever. In that training group, of 15 people, was Sara. They split themselves in two and put them together. “The first day I didn’t even follow”. That’s where their love story began.

It was Javi who motivated him to do the Dakar and prepare to debut in 2019. The rest is history. now, Vega can expand the list of achievements by achieving the title of Original. But don’t worry: what he wants more than anything is for the 2024 Dakar to come so he can return to the adventure with Sara.

Source: La Verdad


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:



More like this