2018 Mitsubishi Motors Desafío Inca a crucial milestone in the run-up to the Dakar


ASO (Amaury Sport Organisation) has been running the Dakar Series rally-raid competition for 10 years to promote the Dakar brand and help to forge new adventurers. Spectacular racing, safety, protecting the environment and safeguarding the archaeological heritage are the key ingredients.

Jean-Marc Aublanc Piolot, coordinator of the 2018 Mitsubishi Motors Desafío Inca, said: “We’ve been running this season-long series of events for about ten years. We have three this year: one in Morocco (Afriquia Merzouga Rally), another in Argentina (YPF Desafío Ruta 40) in August, and yet another one in Peru in September. 

The organisation works hand-in-hand with the government authorities responsible for protecting the environment and safeguarding the archaeological heritage. Each part of the route is agreed upon with the local authorities, who know every nook and cranny of it. “The Organisation always works closely with Peruvian authorities to ensure sensitive areas remain untouched. We have gained approval for the route and the mitigation measures that we will take during the event.

The 2018 Mitsubishi Motors Desafío Inca 2018 will be the third edition of the Dakar Series in Peru. Looking back on the 2013 and 2014 editions, Jean-Marc Aublanc-Piolot said: “These races showed the potential of Peruvian competitors for the Dakar. We really hope that the 2018 Mitsubishi Motors Desafío Inca will match the success of previous years. New competitors have signed up along with the regulars“. Peruvian Gianna VELARDE, a fighter both on and off the bike, is one of them.

Gianna is set to become the first Peruvian woman to race in the motorbike category of the Dakar next year. However, she knows that taking part in the Mitsubishi Motors Desafío Inca will be a key milestone in her build-up.

The young biker explains that her career “didn’t start like a fairytale”. She got into motorbiking at a difficult time in the life of her and her family, when she was diagnosed with stage 3 lymph node cancer.

The bike gave me back all the self-esteem I’d lost to 16 cycles of chemotherapy and 32 rounds of radiotherapy. Every time I climbed to the top of a hill, I felt an unknown power inside me, the conviction that I could overcome any obstacle that stands in my way“, she said about the healing power of riding a bike.