On Saturday afternoon at the finish line, Kamil Wiśniewski takes his helmet off and smiles a wide smile. That smile hasn’t left his face for the duration of the 40th edition of the super marathon, but this time it’s special; it expresses the absolute joy of completing an indisputably difficult task. The Polish rider finished the Dakar Rally with the 13th position, remaining the leader of the 4×4 quad category.
The final stage of this year’s Dakar began and finished in Cordoba. The contestants started in the opposite order and finished the race by the bivouac area, where they joined the teams for a well-deserved celebration. This year’s struggle was real, of 338 machines that had left Lima two weeks ago, only 190 crossed the final finish line!
“Today was a pretty dusty day since we were catching up with the slowest racers who were the first to start the stage. Consequently, we had to be very careful and the ride was quite difficult, but I’m just happy I made it to the end”, said Kamil Wiśniewski a few minutes after turning the engine off.
Our contestant said that completing the Dakar Rally for the second time, as well as his second win in the unofficial 4×4 quad category, were not just his accomplishments. “Dozens of team members were working hard throughout the entire race to achieve that result. I would never be able to do it on my own. Rafał’s support was priceless too. He kept cheering for me despite his contusion and being forced to return home early”, emphasized Wiśniewski.
Ignacio Casale won in the quad category, repeating his success from 2014. The second place went to Nicolas Cavigliasso, a new addition to the racing bunch, who is surely someone to look out for in the future Dakar rallies. The third one was Jeremias Gonzales Ferioli who got on the Dakar podium for the second time in his career (he was 2nd in 2015).
Meanwhile, after undergoing his knee surgery, Rafał Sonik returned to Kraków, where he watched the last moments of the competition. “Certainly, I’d rather be with Kamil at the final ramp, but I must say I’m very proud of him. I also applaud the whole team that accompanied him and supported him all the way to Cordoba. I hope that next year we will cross that final ramp together”, said Sonik.
Stage 14 results
1. Ignacio Casale (CHL) 1:43.25
2. Nelson Sanabria (PAR) +1.21
3. Nicolas Cavigliasso (ARG) +1.36
17. Kamil Wiśniewski (POL) +7.42
1. Ignacio Casale (CHL) 53:47.04
2. Nicolas Cavigliasso (ARG) +1:38.52
3. Jeremias Gonzalez Ferioli (ARG) +2:08.14
13. Kamil Wiśniewski (POL) +11:02.52