Mexican rider Pablo Guillen has finished 2nd in the over 450cc class and 17th outright in the 2020 Africa ECO Race.
Pablo, and fellow Coca-Cola Energy/Nomadas Adventure teammate Andrew Houlihan, crossed the finish line at the famous Lac Rose (pink lake) in Dakar after 12 days of torturous competition.
The 2020 Africa ECO Race started under lights in Monaco on the 4th January. Competitors then travelled to the port of Savona in Italy where they boarded a ferry to Tangier in Morocco.
Once in Morocco they began their journey of nearly 6,500km through the amazing landscapes of Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania and Senegal.
It was a tough event, and of the 74 motorcycles that started only 66 were recognised as finishers.
And of those, many had dealt with mechanical failure, crashes and injuries that had put them more than 60 hours behind the leaders. Those riders were continuing on in the rally to gain experience for future events.
In the true spirit of the event, Pablo surrendered over an hour and a half on the second stage to assist teammate Andrew Houlihan, who had encountered a fuel pump failure in the middle of the desert.
The two riders worked together, transferring fuel from one fuel tank to the other with Andrew’s Camelbak so that Andrew could complete the stage and ultimately the rally. Andrew finished in 21st place outright.
From that point on Pablo made it clear he had the potential to finish on the podium in the over 450cc class.
He came back strongly in stage 3 and took the stage win in his class.
Two other stage wins in the toughest stages of the rally – stage 8 where multiple riders were stranded in the desert for up to 30 hours, and stage 10 where organisers stopped the stage due to serious crashes – ensured that he continued a steady climb back up the rankings.
Pablo also came 2nd on stage 11 and 3rd in stages 6 and 9.
His steady progress had him back in the top 20 outright by the end of stage 8, and in the battle for a podium finish in the class.
Pablo, teammate Andrew Houlihan and the Nomadas Adventure team now have their sights set on the 2021 Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia.
It seems Pablo’s outgoing personality and infectious smile also made him a favourite with the photographers as well!