Mud, sweat and tyres for rally race

Mud, sweat and tyres saw Lydon Poskitt through the Dakar Race.
Mud, sweat and tyres saw Lydon Poskitt through the Dakar Race.
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MECHANICAL break downs, treacherous river crossings and severe altitude sickness did nothing to deter Lyndon Poskitt from completing one of the world’s toughest bike races.

The BAE Systems engineer initially had one simple aim when he entered the Dakar Rally Race through South America – to make it out alive.

The 14-day race takes place in desert and mountain terrains through Peru, Argentina and Chile and is said to be the most difficult event of its kind.

But Lyndon, 34, surpassed his own expectations as he rode home to take 46th place, out of 450 riders taking part.

And as well as ranking just outside the top tenth of riders, Lyndon also became the first British motorcyclist in more than a decade to finish in the top 10 of a Dakar stage.

The Warton based worker used his skills in engineering to take the perfect bike through the race throughout January.

He is now back at home after a rollercoaster ride and reflecting on how he came out alive from the infamous race.

He said: “I think my background as an engineer had a lot to do with how the bike turned out.

“To survive something so rigorous you need a meticulous eye for detail and a keen focus on safety.

“Thanks to my knowledge from the business, I was able to make sure I protected the fuel supply and avoided fuel vaporisation ever becoming an issue.”

Lyndon, from St Michael’s-on -Wyre, overcame a mechanical break down, treacherous river crossings and severe altitude sickness during the challenge.

The 9,000 kilometre race started on January 5 in Lima, Peru, crossed the Andes into Argentina and finished in Santiago, Chile.

He added: “At some points, you’re riding at 100mph, others you’re battling through at walking pace due to rough terrain.

“The conditions are harsh. It’s a test of endurance and because each stage has a staggered start, you’re pretty much on your own.”

But Lyndon wasn’t on his own at the end of each day, as his 60-year-old dad Robin was on hand as his support car driver and ready to supply his bike with new tyres daily, along with oil and filters, brakes, and other bits.

The engineer faced altitude sickness while riding at 15,500ft before rain as he approached the Atacama desert, west of the Andes in Chile, made some rivers extremely dangerous to cross.

The motorcyclist added: “Not something you’d have thought you needed to prepare for, some bikes didn’t make it across.

“Even cars got stranded and were swept up in the river. Others sunk in the mud.”

The desert itself was like “riding into 1,000 hairdryers on full heat pointing right at you”, he said.

The mud, the sweat and the dozens of race tyres he went through made remortgaging his house to fund the trip well worth it.

Now Lyndon’s showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.

He’s already planning to take on the Red Bull Romaniacs race in July and other rallies in Dubai and Australia are also on the cards.

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