Laia Sanz is a runner who knows how to persevere. Besides her multiple trials championships and enduro competitions, she has ridden motorcycles in the Dakar rally every year since 2011. Although she has not yet won a Dakar rally, she has crossed the finish line each time. .
That’s no small feat, especially considering that she competed in the 2021 Dakar just after battling Lyme disease throughout 2020. During the 2020 Dakar, she had a bad encounter. with the Epstein-Barr virus, which also undermined valuable strength and physical resources. Yet through it all, Sanz made his bikes work, out of sheer force of will.
An important part of a successful motorsport career is knowing when it’s time for a change. Thus, Laia Sanz announced that although she was planning to participate in the Dakar Rally 2022, it would not be on any motorcycle. This time, she says, it will be on four wheels instead of two.
It was not a decision Sanz took lightly. She’s a dedicated and thoughtful athlete, and she’s been considering making that decision for some time. Competing in the Electric Extreme E Series with WRC legend Carlos Sainz as a teammate has been just one of the most recent pieces of the puzzle.
She announced her decision at an event hosted by one of her sponsors, KH-7. In early October 2021, Sanz said: “It was a tough decision, but I think it was the right time to make a change. You are becoming more aware of the risk and besides, the past two years have not been easy at all because of my health. I probably did not arrive at the Dakar as prepared as I would have liked and I did not enjoy it as much.
“In the end, I’m not 20 and now is the perfect time to start changing. I’m sure I’ll miss it, but it’s a time of learning and experiencing new things that motivates me a lot, ”she continued.
Besides Extreme E, Sanz made his World Rallycross debut this weekend at Spa. Earlier this year, she competed in Baja Dubai, as well as the Rally of Andalusia. Keep in mind that she did all of this while also returning to the FIM Women’s Trial World Championship in 2021. Obviously, to say that Sanz has been busy would be one of the biggest understatements of the year. .
While Sanz has yet to give details on what type of four-wheeled vehicle she will tackle the Dakar 2022 in, we wish her the best for the future, regardless of how many wheels are involved.