Dakar Rally: K. P. Aravind thrilled to fulfil dream

K. P. Aravind, on Friday, became the second Indian to complete the gruelling off-road event, after C. S. Santosh.

K. P. Aravind poses after finishing the 2019 Dakar Rally in 37th place. Photo: Special Arrangement

India’s K. P. Aravind finished a creditable 37th as the 2019 Dakar Rally concluded in Peru on Friday. The 33-year-old from Karnataka thus became the second Indian to complete the gruelling off-road event, after C. S. Santosh.

Aravind, who represents the Sherco TVS Rally Factory Team, had competed in the Dakar twice before but had crashed out on both occasions. “The feeling of finishing Dakar is yet to sink in fully as I have been dreaming and waiting for this moment for three years now,” he said after the end of the 10th and final stage in Lima.

‘Dreams do come true’

“With multiple injuries in the run up, I always knew I had to push myself beyond the comfort zone to finish the rally. The route this year was extremely challenging but I was ready to fight it out and finish one stage at a time. Dreams do come true if you truly believe in them.”

Aravind was the only Indian left in the race with Santosh having crashed out earlier. It was a good outing for the Sherco TVS team, with riders Adrien and Michael Metge finishing 22nd and 25th respectively. Meanwhile, Spaniard Oriol Mena, representing the Hero Motorsports team, finished ninth.

Australia’s Toby Price, riding for the Red Bull KTM Factory Team, won the bike race to notch up his second Dakar title while Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah (Toyota) secured his third crown in the car category.