Alain Duclos: « The mental aspect remains the most important»

On the evening of the opening stage on the 2009 Dakar, Alain Duclos was 210th overall due to tyre problems and his hopes for a strong showing were buried deep in the sand of the Pampas. His main mission of aiding Cyril Despres was also jeopardized when the team leader suffered the same hardship. Despite it all, the South American experience was enriching for the “part-time” rider, who got his chance to ride with the tenors of the category. “It was very instructive to experience the rally alongside Cyril. I learned what it means to be professional and disciplined”. This year, the Franco-Malian is back with the Toni Togo Team in the role of lead rider. After finishing 7th in 2006, Duclos isn’t worried about the uncertainties concerning the performance equivalencies between his bridled KTM 690cc and the smaller 450ccs he’ll race against. “The competition for the top positions is always hard fought. I have the feeling that at the end of the day, the mental aspect is still the most important. I hope I can finish in the top five. After all, I now have some experience and savoir faire…I am going to them all a hell of a run“, concludes Alain with just a lilt of humour.

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