The record that Carlos Sainz can pulverize if he wins the Dakar 2020 rally

Carlos Sainz does not need to prove anything at this point in his career, but it is hard for him to think about the withdrawal. She does not want to stop squeezing the accelerator, no matter how much her wife does less and less, thanks to the fact that every January her husband goes to the desert to play his skin.

The "Matador" has already threatened many times to leave the Dakar, but always appears on the starting line with the favorite sign and physically butt. This race is addictive and although in February and March fatigue and stiffness invite you to think about not returning, the arrival of summer makes the worm grow and in September one is already crazy to go over the dunes again and look for the next point in the road book. Punctual to your appointment will go this January 5, the Madrid to the first stage of the Dakar 2019, which changes the scene again. Leave South America to enter Saudi Arabia for the first time, a territory unknown to most participants.

Less altitude in exchange for more kilometers, which has forced Sainz to modify his preparation plan a bit. An elite athlete training that previously included sessions in the hypoxia chamber to be able to endure later at the height of Chile or Bolivia. In Arabia there is not this enemy, but Carlos does not lower his guard, because piloting his Mini through the desert day after day requires a perfect physique. «For this Dakar we hope to spend many hours in the car, with two stages whose specials will be more than 500 kilometers and five with more than 400, without height, but with heat. So, based on all that, we have defined the type of training. It is not sought to gain muscle volume, since it does not make much sense, but resistance and strength for what awaits us, ”says Sainz, Red Bull rider.

"When you go so long sitting, and with the blows you receive inside the car in jumps and dunes, you usually suffer in the lumbar part and also in the neck", continues Carlos, who performs specific exercises so that his cervicals support the equivalent of 50 kilos of tension

Sainz seeks to pulverize his own record for the most veteran winner, which he has held since in 2018 he won 55 years. Now he is 57, but he is still an elite athlete and keeps his dedication intact. His son Carlos, a Formula One driver, admits that he is surprised when he wakes up in the morning and finds his father already crushing himself in the gym with the illusion of a young man who is starting. «I am proud to continue competing and to have been the most veteran driver in winning this test. Much more will not last (his sports career), but I think I have earned the right to be here and enjoy until I say enough. No one has been able to prevail in the toughest motor test in the world as old as Carlos Sainz and this is already a reason to get in the car. He wants to push that limit beyond and for this he has been over the construction of the car in recent months. The "Matador" is very methodical and his experience is key to evolve vehicles. He knows where you can take advantage and engineers do the rest.

The Dakar 2020 will enter Saudi Arabia from the departure in Jeddah, on January 5 (city where the Spanish Supercup of football starts three days later) until the arrival on the 17th in Qiddiya. The toughest rally in the world is reinvented every so often. For security, he had to leave Africa before the threat of terrorist attacks, and the economy has forced him to move from South America to the East in search of investors. Different scenarios, but the same hardness and identical key to be the best. «Pilots with only the information of the few notes you receive from the co-pilot and what you see. You have to make decisions with how little your brain can judge and that sometimes deceives you and leads you to make mistakes, to be too optimistic, because you think the terrain is one way and ends up being another. All this produces a lot of stress, a lot of tension and makes the adrenaline go off, ”says Sainz on the Red Bull website.

Carlos will look for his third "Tuareg" at the wheel of a Mini X-Raid, a diesel buggy that will compete with the power of the Toyota, with Nasser Al Attiyah at the helm, the clearly reference team in terms of victory options. The Spanish will go a little covered, a role that is not bad to go doing kilometers and attack in the final stages.


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