The Total Paris-Dakar 2001 finally came to an end at the highly symbolic Lac Rose this afternoon with very little suspense. KTM and it star rider Fabrizio Meoni came out on top of the motorcycle division, despite stage victories today by Giovanni Sala and Kari Tianinen.
As predicted, the motorcycle special test today turned out to be a lap of honor for Meoni – with the Italian finally realizing his long-held dream of victory in the Dakar.
“It is the realization of 10 years ago of hard work,” Meoni said.
To complete their total domination of this 23rd edition, KTM also took the next four places in the overall standings with Jordi Arcarons second (for the fourth time), the Chilean “semi-privateer” Carlo De Gavardo third and the up and coming Spanish rider Esteve Pujol fourth. South African Alfie Cox ended up fifth on yet another KTM.
The first BMW home, in stark contrast to last year, was British rider John Deacon in sixth. Deacon was followed home by Californian Jimmy Lewis, with Lewis breaking his collarbone in the final special test.
First Amateur “Yacco” rider and best “rookie” was factory Honda rider Johnny Campbell, with the Californian finishing the rally eighth overall in an impressive debut.