Aussie rider finishes Baja on his first attempt
Since its inception in 1967, the annual Baja Races has established itself as one of the toughest off-road racing events in the world and has attracted thousands of competitors from both 2 wheels and 4 wheels.
As a rule of thumb, competitors often have the backing of big sponsors and teams of pit crews to gain that extra winning edge on this grueling race. These competitors often spend lots of time and large sums of money in R&D and preparations, not to mention logistics, as part of their Baja campaign.
But, as they say, “There is an exception to every rule” and one Dutch rider (who now lives in Australia) just proved that.
Just recently, Dutch rider, Wouter-jan V Dijk, went viral on social media after he finished the Ironman (individual) category of this year’s Baja Race. At first look, there seems to be nothing special about him being a finisher, but his story was nothing short of a miracle.
According to sources, Wouter-jan – with no prior Baja experience – flew from Australia carrying just some clothes and riding gear. Upon landing in San Diego, California, he immediately bought a used motorcycle on Craig’s List and rode 19 hours all the way to the race’s starting point in La Paz, Mexico, which is roughly 1,540 kilometers.
Wouter-jan V Dijk’s October 19 post
Then, he was almost denied to join the races because riding all the way for more than 1,500 kilometers had worn out his bike’s tires. With a bit of luck, he managed to secure a set of tires and saw himself during the flag-off. After 48 hours and almost 2,110 kilometers of racing alone in the dark, under the scorching sun and rough terrain, with no pit crew along the route, Wouter-jan crossed the finish line in Ensenada with his front tire held together by a couple of zip ties. He did a very respectable 7th place out of the 27 racers who joined the Ironman category.
Of course, he couldn’t have done it without the love and support of the various teams who helped him along the way, even offering him fuel, food and some rest.
Because of the sheer challenge the Baja Races offer, Wouter-jan V Dijk’s feat is nothing short of a miracle. He has earned the respect of many Baja racers and motorcyclists.
Keyword: Guy on 2nd hand bike, no pit crew, finisher of Baja 2k km race