Markus: final preparations before the 2018 Dakar!
Last November 22, Markus and his team, supported by BFGoodrich®, attended the press conference held by the ASO , the organizers of the Dakar rally. It was an important event, where he was introduced to the Dakar family and was able to meet (again) with a number of legendary drivers such as Christian Lavieille and Nani Roma.
Preparing for the Dakar is a race per se. Following the invaluable advice from his "sponsors", Markus has been in training up in the mountains where he has been out cycling several times a week. Well known to professional athletes, high altitude effectively helps the body to produce red blood cells and get the oxygen flowing. Additionally, to better withstand the extreme heat likely to be a feature of the rally, Markus has also been spending a few evenings at the sauna.
Between cycling or "home" gym sessions, the Walcher Team has also been carefully studying the Dakar rally's regulations. "I think it's probably the most complicated job of all, and the most time-consuming. I prefer sports," laughed Markus.
Finally, to be sure of peak fitness during the rally, Markus and his co-driver went for a full check-up and "work-over" with a physiotherapist. You check your body the same way you check your vehicle, you might say. Whatever, you have to think of everything - blood tests and even dental visits - to avoid health issues in the middle of the Latin American desert!
What are Markus' impressions as the Dakar rally draws closer? "A lot of excitement, joy, a little stress, too. I'm spending a lot of time watching loads of videos of the Dakar, just to enjoy the atmosphere and get psychologically geared up!".