2021 Dakar Rally Daily Podcast

Cycle News Staff | January 15, 2021

Welcome to the Cycle News‘ Dakar Rally Daily podcast. Here, we take you on an epic trip into the iconic Dakar Rally with daily (at least) podcast episodes featuring interviews from the top American and international Dakar Rally competitors, past racers and team personnel, and commentary and insight into each Dakar Rally Stage’s results in near real-time.

Stay tuned to this Dakar Rally Daily Podcast story here for the latest updates when episodes go live. Or, you can subscribe and stream from your favorite platforms below. Enjoy!

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2021 Dakar Rally Stage 12 Results Show

2021 Dakar Rally Daily Podcast Episode 21 – 2021 Dakar Rally Stage 12 Results

This was a brutal war.

The 2021 Dakar Rally will go down as one of the most difficult in history. Intense speeds, tricky navigation and massive swings in day-to-day rankings meant every competitor raced every day for the win. Most strategies flew out the window early, and those that tried to control the race met unpredictability head-on.

In today’s episode, we cover the final day of the Dakar Rally, discussing the big winners and losers of this epic battle in Saudi Arabia.

Don’t miss it!

2021 Dakar Rally Stage 11 Results Show

2021 Dakar Rally Daily Podcast Episode 20 – 2021 Dakar Rally Stage 11 Results

The 2021 Dakar Rally penultimate stage did not disappoint race fans with plenty of drama and a shuffling of the top three contenders.

With the unexpected and somewhat unexplained departure of a main contender, today’s race stage had all the makings of Dakar drama at its finest.

We call in to the American Rally Oracle, Jimmy Lewis and get his take on the race up to this point and what we can expect in tomorrows sprint to the finish. It’s an entertaining and insightful chat you won’t want to miss.

Tune-in to today’s episode to see if Monster Energy Honda kept their hold on the overall podium, how Red Bull KTM reacted with time to be gained and if the top five players made it through unscathed.

One more race day to go and then the 2021 Dakar Rally will be decided. And it’s not getting any easier out there!

Enjoy!

2021 Dakar Rally Stage 10 Results Show

2021 Dakar Rally Daily Podcast Episode 19 – 2021 Dakar Rally Stage 10 Results


Honda’s team is showing serious strength as 2021’s Dakar Rally comes down to the final stages. But, with many miles of racing to come, including the race’s longest stage tomorrow, it’s still anyone’s game.

With three of the top four overall ranked riders, Honda is on the gas.

American Ricky Brabec made time today while KTM’s sails have been somewhat deflated after the departure of Toby Price from yesterday’s race.

No spoilers here. Listen in to see what went down today and get ready for a wild Stage 11!

 

2021 Dakar Rally Stage 9 Results Show

2021 Dakar Rally Daily Podcast Episode 18 – 2021 Dakar Rally Stage 9 Results

Today’s  Stage Nine of the 2021 Dakar Rally was held on the anniversary of Paulo Congalves’ tragic accident in 2020’s edition. The likable legend lost his life last year on the same date and the entire traveling family of Dakar racers paid tribute to him today with commemorative symbols on their bodies, bikes and in their hearts.

Red Bull KTM’s Toby Price was the first racer on the scene of the accident last year. Today, exactly one  year later, two-time Dakar Champion Price is forced to abandon his race effort with injuries sustained in a crash. Thankfully, the Australian champion’s injuries don’t seem to be life threatening, but the elimination of one of the strongest competitors in a brutally tough stage is surely taking its toll on the field mentally as the race drains them physically.

Atrophy in the race has ramped up, consequences are extremely high, time is running out to make up time. This is the Dakar Rally at its most dangerous and unpredictable stages.

In today’s episode, we hear from Ricky Brabec who was first on the scene of Price’s crash, and get on the phone with Johnny Campbell to ask how the racers and bikes are holding up in the Monster Energy Honda camp.

2021 Dakar Rally Stage 8 Results Show

2021 Dakar Rally Daily Podcast Episode 17 – 2021 Dakar Rally Stage 8 Results

The second day of the marathon stretch at the 2021 Dakar Rally has finished with the top competitors rising to the occasion.

In what seemed to be a catastrophic case of bad luck, Red Bull KTM’s Toby Price started the day with a massive tire cut held together by zip ties and duct tape. But, somehow, the champion from Australia held it together to finish on the damaged tire, and claim second overall for the stage!

Grabbing his first stage win, “Nacho” Cornejo on the Monster Energy HRC Honda team chased his teammate and defending Dakar champion Ricky Brabec into the desert, swapping the physical lead and maintaining a blistering pace. The performance was good enough to put him over a minute in front of Price for the overall classification.

We cover the stage’s events, hear from the contenders in the pits, and analyze the stages coming next. We also chat fueling and other strategies on the course as we’ve been receiving some questions about that.

Enjoy this episode and tune in for Stage nine’s results tomorrow!

 

2021 Dakar Rally Stage 7 Results Show

2021 Dakar Rally Daily Podcast Episode 16 – 2021 Dakar Rally Stage 7 Results


The Marathon.

Today’s stage 7 of the 2021 Dakar Rally kicks off this year’s marathon stages, two back-to-back stages without mechanical support from teams, techs, or service trucks. Riders do their own bike maintenance and can only work on their bikes in the paddock area one time, once they leave their ride, they are done working on the bike until the clock starts tomorrow.

American Ricky Brabec grabbed his second win of the race and creeps back into contention while front-running Toby Price loses very little time in the overall to “Nacho” Cornejo – only one second separates the top two in this race.  American Skyler Howes finished third on the stage – his best stage finish.

Times are getting tighter, mistakes carry bigger consequence.

We talk with Andrew Short about his controversial departure from the race and how he sees the day-to-day race working out for the top competitors. We also check in with Skyler Howes, who continues to be a very strong performer and is certainly in contention for a podium finish at this point.

2021 Dakar Rally Stage 7 Results Show

2021 Dakar Rally Daily Podcast Episode 15 – 2021 Dakar Rally Rest Day

The only thing restful about today is that the racers don’t put on their gear and compete on the motorcycle.

The entire pit scene is a buzz at Dakar rest days. Mechanics strip bikes to their frames and riders are busy doing interviews, sorting their gear, finding a quiet spot to zone out, and basically being bothered constantly.

This year, the rest day hits right at the mid-point of the rally. So, we decided to do a show that covers all the racing up to this point, preview the remainder of the race and check in with a couple inside men on the scene.

Featuring interviews with Monster Energy Honda’s Ricky Brabec and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Technical Manager Stefan Huber, we give you the inside story about what resting is like for racer and bike.

Enjoy the day “off” and we’ll be back racing marathon style tomorrow!

2021 Dakar Rally Stage 6 Results Show

2021 Dakar Rally Daily Podcast Episode 14 – 2021 Dakar Rally Stage 6 Results

It’s time to rest.

Dakar competitors are the hardiest of all. Six stages in of brutal racing at high speeds has taken its toll on even the top racers at this year’s event. You can hear it in their voices – they are looking forward to a break.

In today’s episode, we cover a shortened stage 6 that, while 100km shorter than originally planned, was just as tough on the racers and it shook up the standings once again.

We hear from Toby Price, “Nacho” Cornejo, and dial up our buddy Skyler Howes to get the details on the day.

How many stages can Joan Barreda win? Can Ricky Brabec fight back to the top? How about the consistent players – did today bring them any surprises? How about those tires?

All this and more in today’s episode from stage 6 at the 2021 Dakar Rally

2021 Dakar Rally Stage 5 Results Show

2021 Dakar Rally Daily Podcast Episode 13 – 2021 Dakar Rally Stage 5 Results

This race is proving impossible to plan for.

Stage 5 of the 2021 Dakar Rally is the most difficult so far, with nearly ever rider losing time with navigation errors early in the stage and a grueling distance following. The stage took over five hours for the fastest competitors to finish and although it slowed in pace from previous blitzes, average speeds for the top guys was still nearly 55 mph over 283 miles.

In this episode we talk directly with Red Bull KTM Factory Rally Racing Team Manager Jordi Viladoms about the challenges of the 2021 rally, tire conservation, team tactics and positioning, predictions and strategies going forward and, finally, just hoping for some luck because that seems very important this year.

Enjoy today’s show as we dig deep into what went down on this brutal stage, and how hard it is to predict what’s going to happen in the future.

 

2021 Dakar Rally Stage 4 Results Show

2021 Dakar Rally Daily Podcast Episode 12 – 2021 Dakar Rally Stage 4 Results

The pendulum slows.

Today’s Stage 4 of the 2021 Dakar Rally in Saudia Arabia has signaled the slow down of the massive pendulum swings affecting the top-20 racers in the Elite Motorcycle division. As the race tightens slowly, some racers are making strategic moves to align with the fastest contenders and really begin the race craft.

Ricky Brabec on the Monster Energy Honda team seems to be taking the lead in strategic riding, holding back from top speed today to set himself up favorably for two challenging stages before the rest day. Meanwhile his teammate Joan Barreda has kept the throttle pinned, taking his 26th career stage win and blitzing minutes away from the field in today’s timed section, averaging ~ 75 mph for over 200 miles of race course.

We chat with Johnny Campbell and Kendall Norman inside the Brabec/Cornejo motorhome and get some insight into the new play from the American Honda rider. We also break down the next few stages and go over what happened on today’s extremely fast course.

Enjoy!

2021 Dakar Rally Stage 3 Results Show

2021 Dakar Rally Daily Podcast Episode 11 – 2021 Dakar Rally Stage 3 Results

It’s good to be Skyler Howes today. The young American racer is sitting at the top of the general classification of Elite motorcycle competitors. And, as we’ve seen all race long, he’s been prime for this spot since he’s avoided the massive pendulum swings of time gained and lost that the other top contenders are somewhat forced to play in so far.  In today’s episode, we chat with the new race leader, one of few Americans to ever hold that spot in the world’s toughest racing event.

Also on tap today is some insight from the master himself, Jimmy Lewis. We call in to his Nevada rally headquarters as he’s following along with intent and interest as his students battle it out in Saudi Arabia.

We also get into the controversial departure of American Andrew Short from competition. New information reveals he did, in fact, have water contaminate his fuel in yesterday’s stage – stopping his chances of continuing on. We also have confirmation from KTM sources that Toby Price’s rear fuel tank issues were caused by the same. Still, the A.S.O. organization denied Yamaha/Short’s request to re-enter the race. Learn more by listening in.

Big time swings remains the most pressing topic dominating the rankings at this year’s rally and we all agree it’s going to end soon… but when?

Hosts Jesse Ziegler and Quinn Cody try to find out and you are welcome to come along for the ride.

2021 Dakar Stage 2 Results Show

2021 Dakar Rally Daily Podcast Episode 10 – 2021 Dakar Rally Stage 2 Results

We start today’s 2021 Dakar Rally Stage 2 Results coverage on a bit of a downer  as Monster Energy Yamaha’s Andrew Short was forced to withdraw from the rally shortly after refueling at KM 277 during the special today. But, on the other side of the spectrum, Monster Energy Honda’s seemingly bad day yesterday put them into position to make up serious time today, and that’s just what they did with Joan Barreda taking his 25th stage win after setting a blistering pace in pursuit of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing squad.

We have some great insight into this stage. Not only from the commentary from our hosts Quinn Cody and Jesse Ziegler, but with live, from-the-bivouac interviews with Johnny Campbell and Andrew Short.

Lots to talk about today from the race including an American winning a stage in a SSV (side-by-side), becoming the youngest competitor to win a Dakar stage in any class! Seth Quintero of the Red Bull Off-Road Team USA piloted his Lightweight Prototype-class machine to victory. More to talk about from the SSV’s, including Kristen Matlock currently repairing her Polaris RZR Factory team rig in the dunes to get to the finish as we publish…

You won’t want to miss this episode!

2021 Dakar Stage 1 Results Show

2021 Dakar Rally Daily Podcast Episode 9 – 2021 Dakar Stage 1 Results

Tune in to today’s Dakar Rally Daily podcast to hear from hosts Jesse Ziegler and Quinn Cody about the first “real” stage of the 2021 Dakar Rally with special guest interview call-ins from American privateer and BAS Trucks KTM Racer Skyler Howes and  Monster Energy Yamaha’s Andrew Short straight from the bivouac!

Time was lost, time was gained, racers made mistakes, and others capitalized on those mistakes. Stage 1 is a perfect example of what we can expect to see in the next 11 days of racing. Enjoy the show and don’t forget to read the full story about Dakar Stage 1 Results!

2021 Dakar Stage 0 Results Show

2021 Dakar Rally Daily Podcast Episode 7 – 2021 Dakar Stage 0 Results

Join Hosts Jesse Ziegler and Quinn Cody as they review the kickoff to competition and the 2021 Dakar Rally’s prologue stage. Today’s episode includes commentary on the first day of racing including strategy insight discussions of the top finishers before previewing tomorrow’s stage, Stage 01 – the real beginning of the Dakar Rally race.

We have a special guest calling in from the Bivouac, too – American Off-Road Racing Bad A$$ Kendall Norman! Kendall is on the ground as a part of the Monster Energy Honda team and we chat with him about his job now, his job last year as Ricky Brabec’s mechanic, and what he sees being inside the team.

We also go into the other racing classes and vehicles to give you a quick look at other American competitors.

It’s time to go racing!

Johnny Campbell Interview

2021 Dakar Rally Daily Podcast Episode 6 – Johnny Campbell Interview

Johnny Campbell has been a force in American and Mexican off-road for decades. Setting the standard for Baja competition’s elite, Campbell has continued to grow champions with Johnny Campbell Racing as it’s pilots take on the biggest races in North America.

With the rise of Honda’s interest in Dakar Rally competition, Campbell was called in early to get to work developing the bike, and riders, that could help Honda win the toughest race in the world once again.

We sincerely enjoy every conversation with Johnny Campbell we can get. The man is incredibly level-headed, intelligent and has more racing craft than anyone in the sport we can think of.

Getting Campbell’s insight into Ricky Brabec’s impressive rise to the top, the challenges of getting a Dakar bike to the finish line (even after millions of dollars are spent to do so) and more are a real treat.

And, we chat about his own Dakar experience from the early 2000’s (he finished 8th!)

Enjoy this conversation as Campbell loads up and heads to Saudi Arabia.

Skyler Howes Interview

2021 Dakar Rally Daily Podcast Episode 5 – Skyler Howes Interview

If you’re looking for someone to cheer for this year during the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia, Skyler Howes is your man. The young privateer from Utah made himself  known on the Dakar stage after finishing as the top Privateer overall, and locking down 9th place – an impressive ride, for sure.

For 2021, Skyler pulled together another crowdsourced effort to get him to the starting line, this time jumping aboard a Bas Trucks KTM Team ride and paying his own way. Thanks to a strong group of supporting sponsors, friends, family members and fans, Skyler scraped enough money to get there and compete. But, he sort of had to sell everything he owns to do it!

Skyler Howes' Dakar Sticker Image
Skyler Howes has put everything he has into this year’s Dakar Rally.

What is he thinking!? Well, we find out as we get the journeyman’s look into the Dakar struggle during our chat with the likable Skyler Howes.

Find out what it’s like to look for flights  days before Christmas to get to Saudi Arabia, find a COVID test at the same time, and find some time to train for the biggest rally in the world while also working.

There’s nothing like race/event/sport insight from a guy paying his own way, and Skyler provides some smart insight from a true working man.

After listening, we guarantee you’ll be inspired by the guy, and you’ll probably be on the SH Squad going forward.

Skyler Howes Team Headshot
For 2021, Skyler Howes is on a KTM Support team in the BAS Trucks KTM team.

Toby Price Interview.

2021 Dakar Rally Daily Podcast Episode 4 – Toby Price Interview:

Australia’s Toby Price was the first from his country to win Dakar when he won the 2016 event in only his second attempt. The way he attacks the Dakar Rally, and any challenge on a bike, really, is impressive to say the least. In fact, after barely learning how to navigate, he finished third in his first-ever attempt in 2015.

Toby Price does a shakedown run on this KTM Rally Bike before the 2021 Dakar Rally
Toby Price is a dominant force anytime he’s on the bike. And he is eager to get the Dakar Rally title back in KTM’s hands.

Since he began, he’s only not finished on the podium once in 2017 and that was due to a broken femur–likely the only thing that will keep him from being in contention.

Need another sign of his speed and toughness? How about his Dakar win in 2019 with a broken wrist injury sustained before the race even started!? And the list goes on, from a massive winning record at Australias Finke Rally, Baja 1000 finishes on a bike and in a truck, and the list just keeps going.

If there’s one man everyone has at the top of their win list, it’s probably Toby Price.

Toby Price shows the details of his Red Bull KTM Factory Rally Bike to a camera crew
Toby Price knows Dakar is unpredictable and believes the new rule changes for 2021 will be a challenge everyone will be dealing with during the event

But 2020 hasn’t been all wins for Price. A COVID-influenced lockdown of his home country and associated self-exile has had him away from friends and family for nearly six months as he’s prepped and trained for, essentially this single event.

Enjoy this interview with Toby Price as we count down the days to the start of the 2021 Dakar Rally and stay tuned for more!

 

Andrew Short is here.

2021 Dakar Rally Daily Podcast Episode 3 – Andrew Short Interview:

Andrew Short has an impressive motorcycle racing resume, the highlights of which include; 16 years as a professional Supercross and Motocross racer – many of which as a factory-level racer on America’s top teams, nine professional victories, and 50 (FIFTY!) podium finishes. He turned pro as soon as he could at 17 years of age and has dedicated every year since then to mastering the craft of racing on two wheels.

And he still loves it.

Andrew Short poses with his Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Rally bike
Andrew Short has a new team and new bike this year and an eye on the Dakar podium

While still a member of the American Factory Honda Racing Supercross and Motocross team, rally navigation and off-road competition started it’s addictive entry into Short’s world. He went off to the Sonora Rally for a quick, fun ride in 2017, jumped at an opportunity to join the Rockstar Husqvarna squad, flew to Morocco for another rally a few weeks later and competed in his first Dakar event mere months into this newfound addiction, finishing in the top 20 after rally baptism by fire. A  year later he’d finish sixth. Last year, he had a tough go in Saudi Arabia and was out of contention early. But he kept in it, sacrificing time for teammates and knocking out another top-ten finish.

Andrew Short wheelies his Monster Energy Factory Yamaha Rally bike
While he hasn’t had a lot of time with his team, Short has put hundreds of miles on his new Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Bike.

As you’ll hear, he loves learning and absorbing motorcycle sport’s details. And he’s a quick learner when it comes to Rally. But all of that comes from a lot of hard work and dedication to working on his craft.

Enjoy this conversation with one of America’s most respected motorcycle competitors as he heads out to race with his new squad; the Monster Energy Yamaha Rally team.

Andrew Short slides his Monster Energy Yamaha Rally bike
Will number 7 be lucky for Andrew Short?

The Americans Are Coming.

2021 Dakar Rally Daily Podcast Episode 2 – Ricky Brabec Interview:

Ricky Brabec and his Monster Energy Honda rally bik
Ricky Brabec is the first American to win the Dakar Rally. We chat with him about training and the upcoming race.

In this episode, we talk to Ricky Brabec, defending Dakar Rally Champion, before he heads to Saudi Arabia for the 2021 rally.

Ricky Brabec should need little introduction to American race fans. As the first American to win the notoriously brutal Dakar Rally, Brabec put his Monster Energy Honda Rally bike on the top of the most elusive step in motorcycle sport – an accomplishment that is hard to describe in scale or challenge.

Americans have tried to win this race, and a few have even landed on the overall podium, but the challenges the Dakar Rally serves up simply kept Americans from winning until Brabec and Honda made it happen in early 2020.

It certainly wasn’t an easy road to get there. In fact, Brabec DNF’d  three years in a row after finishing 9th overall his first attempt in 2016. That’s a DNF in 2017, 2018, and while leading the rally in 2019. So, 2020’s win was certainly sweet and, from Brabec’s standpoint, almost easy in comparison.

Ricky Brabec Rally Bike Corner
Ricky Brabec on the gas aboard his Monster Energy Honda rally bike

Brabec himself is the first to admit that the complexities of Dakar make the race a crazy, crazy place. And that a lot of luck goes into being first. But, as we learned in our interview, Brabec and the rest of the American rally racers are working harder than ever to start their own winning legacy.

So, how did he win and how is he going to win again? It turns out it has a lot to do with feeling at home in the desert and reading the terrain faster than the others. Oh, and he’s probably training harder than anyone else.

Brabec brings his honest and refreshingly blunt opinions and insight to this interview covering topics from training with Jimmy Lewis, building and riding roadbooks with Andrew Short, having Johnny Campbell, Kendall Norman, and Eric Siraton in his corner and more.

Studio shot of Monster Energy Honda Rally bike
The #1 plate on Ricky Brabec’s Honda Rally machine is a sight for American rally fans’ eyes.

And if you want some real insight into Dakar’s new tire rules, slower navigation, roadbook handouts in the morning, and more, Brabec tells it to us straight including his thoughts on the in-team dynamics and “teamwork”, or lack thereof, inside the pits.

Settle in and enjoy this long talk with a living legend of American motorcycle racing. Plus, he tells us what it’s like to have an airbag vest go off when he went over the bars at Glamis!

 

Dakar Rally Daily Podcast Episode 01: The Preview Show

In this episode, hosts Jesse Ziegler and Quinn Cody break down their plan of attack to provide in-depth Dakar Rally coverage from the people chasing the ultimate racing dream.

The 2021 Dakar Rally Daily Podcast Episode one is here:

2021’s Dakar Rally will be the ultimate test. From COVID protocols to new rules and limitations imposed on teams and competitors nothing about this race is going to be easy. Join us as we get ready for some great interviews, commentary, race analysis and call-ins from the biggest names in motorcycle rally sport!

Why are we doing this and why should anyone listen to us?

  • We are Dakar Rally nerds.
  • Quinn Cody even raced it twice. And he was was the North American Ambassador for the A.S.O (organization body for the Dakar) and is quite responsible for getting people like Ricky Brabec on a rally bike in the first place.
  • Jesse Ziegler is basically just a nerd. But he’s been a working motorcycle journalist since 2005 so he’s good at asking questions.
  • The Dakar Rally is awesome.
  • It’s hard to find Dakar Rally coverage. And we want information faster than TV reports so we decided to get our boots on the ground, so to speak, and talk with all the experts we can find before the race. Then, we’re going to call them during the race for inside-the-race insight.
  • We want to expose more people to the beauty, brutality and chaos of the Dakar Rally and show the competitors off.
  • We want to give you insight into the way rally works and showcase the immense complexity and strategy that will undoubtedly unfold in 2021.
  • There is so much to talk about, the only way we can do it is to record ourselves talking with people in the mix and sharing it with you!

Who are you going to talk to?

  • Everyone we can and as often as possible. We are committed to getting up early as soon as the race stages wrap up in Saudi Arabia (11 hours ahead of our California home) and talking to the men and women competing as they finish their days.
  • Trainers, coaches, friends and family of the biggest racers
  • Current and past champions, privateers, legends of the past and those who chased the dream to race.

When does it start?

  • Now. As of publishing this podcast we are five days away from the start of the rally and we have pre-race interviews with Ricky Brabec, Andrew Short, Skyler Howes, Johnny Campbell, Edo Mossi, Toby Price, and Laia Sanz stacked up and ready!

How do I find more episodes?

  • We will be posting daily episodes  (at least) starting 12/29/20 through the end of the rally on 1/15/2021. We may stack more up in the first days to make room for race coverage starting on 1/3/21 when the race kicks off.
  • You can follow along by checking out the Dakar Rally Daily story on  cyclenews.com, subscribing wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts, following @cyclenews on instagram and other social media channels and by following our hosts Jesse Ziegler @chasingtrail  and Quinn Cody @quinncody

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