Friday, January 11, 2013

Kurt Caselli Wins at Dakar!

The torch for offroad American motorcycling has been passed again.  In recent years a single American rider has held the position of showing the world that we can produce world class two wheel pilots.  In prior years it has been Chris Blais (who finished third in the 2007 Dakar) followed by Jonah Street and then Quinn Cody.

This year it is Kurt Caselli putting the world on notice.  Caselli won today's Stage 7 of the 2013 Dakar by covering the 218km special stage 1:23 faster than the next fastest competitor.  Not only does this make him the first American to win a Dakar stage in '13 (and perhaps the only one this year) but it moves him into 8th place overall for the event some 27 minutes back of the leader.

Caselli is really only present at the 2013 Dakar due to the late injury of Dakar legend Marc Coma whereby Caselli replaced Coma on the factory KTM team.  Given that this announcement came only in late December, one cannot imagine Caselli had a whole ton of time to prepare for this year's Dakar--particularly when the other top flight riders spend all year preparing for such an event.

Caselli is well known here in the States for his participation and wins in the WORCS, Hare & Hound series as well as Endurocross, the Six Days Enduro competition in Germany and the KTM factory Baja team.  Hopefully we will see Caselli continue to succeed in the '13 Dakar and see him announced early on this year as a teammate with Coma for the '14 Dakar.  With a full year of prep he should be able to sit near the top of the podium, perhaps acting as the one to whom Coma may pass his torch to upon his retirement.

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