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DAKAR RALLY: Team Vendetta and Jane Daniels still plugging away after Stage Eight

DAKAR RALLY: Team Vendetta and Jane Daniels still plugging away after Stage Eight

Four-Time World Enduro Champion Jane Daniels had a tricky day in the Dakar Rally but is still running, as Team Vendetta UAE’s Dave McBride and Oran O’Kelly also soldier on past the eighth stage after ten days in the Saudi desert.

Words: Ben Rumbold. Featured Image: Team Vendetta UAE

Jane Daniels had got as high as 51st in the overall standings after Stage 7, but then had to help out her Fantic Racing teammate Jeremy Miroir, towing him across the line and back to the bivouac!

Jane Daniels has impressed on her Dakar debut. (Image Fantic Racing)

Jane explains: “Today was split into two stages.  In the morning section I had good fun in the sandy terrain and even did a headfirst dive at one point it was that soft, I just couldn’t stop the bike from sinking!

“In the afternoon stage I was just getting into the flow of the rocky paths when I unfortunately came across my team mate Jeremy, who needed a tow to the finish. I towed him for 60km to the end of the special stage and a further 95km back to the bivouac. Certainly not how I wanted to end my day as I felt I was on for my best individual stage result, but never mind, we are a team and sometimes these things have to be done.”

Jane gives her teammate Jeremy Miroir a tow home! (Image: Fantic Racing)

Amazingly, she only lost one position overall, and it was to fellow Brit Dave McBride, who along with Team Vendetta UAE stablemate Oran O’Kelly has kept going through all that the Dakar had to throw at them.  Their teammate David Mabbs wasn’t quite so fortunate, having had to withdraw after Stage Three with four broken toes on his left foot.  The #92 rider caught his foot in the rocks that were so tricky for everyone in the early going, and although he brought the bike home, he couldn’t get his boot on the following morning and had an X-Ray which confirmed the damage.

McBride has struggled on despite massive blisters to his hands, and he now sits in 51st place, with Irishman O’Kelly in 58th, and both are now in sight of the finish with four more days to go in the Rally.

There isn’t enough tape in the desert to protect Dave McBride’s hands at this point.

In Dakar 2023, Oran drove the campervan and cleaned the toilets for “Mr Dakar” himself, Stephane Peterhansel, the 14-time winner on both two and four wheels. Well, in 2024 Oran had the honour of starting the 48 Hour Chrono stage alongside the legend himself, who was at the time fighting for the lead of the Car section in his Audi e-Tron.  Here’s the shot of them heading out into the desert together, taken bu=y his mechanic Ritchie:

Oran has been revelling in his first Dakar, although there was a sketchy moment when a Dutch car crew nearly wiped him out, having not used the “Sentinel” warning system which is supposed to alert bikers of an oncoming car.  Karma served up a treat though as the crew then got hit by a puncture, and Oran gave them a piece of his mind as they were stopped – the moment was caught live Dutch TV, where translation certainly was not necessary!

Otherwise, Oran has been promoting himself well in the Irish press, as you can see from this story >>>here<<<

Dirt Hub wishes Jane, Dave, and Oran all the best in their efforts to reach the finish line of the World’s Toughest Rally, and we will bring you the updates on the last few days for all the Brits as well as the very top teams!