The Dakar rally which ended last Saturday was remembered not only for the roar of the engines, equipment malfunctions, natural disasters and success of the Russian pilots.
Russian pilot Anastasia Nifontova dramatically fell off her bike on one of the turns during the 11th round.
At first she tried to pick up her iron horse all by herself but considering that it weighs almost 200 kg, Nifontova could not do it.
“It was one of the last stages. I was extremely tired – almost out of strength,” Nifontova told RT when asked about her fall.
She added that her bike went down as she was going uphill on a “very difficult sandy part” of the stage.
The rider said, she tried to lift the 185-kilogram vehicle herself, but “it wasn’t possible.”
Through tears, the Russian rider asked for help from the French television operator but the guy did not respond and continued filming Nifontova standing in front of her bike. Perhaps he would have helped but the rules of the Dakar marathon forbid media members from interfering in any way.
Nifontova said that she has no hard feelings toward the cameraman, who was “doing his job.”
She had to rely only on the help of her colleagues. However, the pilots raced passed her one after the other as she kept waving her arms in the South American sands.
When her hopes were almost drained, a Frenchman, Gregory Morat stopped in front of Nifontova to her rescue.
“I decided to ask for help from the other riders, but again, we were on a hill, so some were passing by. But one stopped, he was the French rider Gregory. I am grateful for his gentlemanly act, he helped me a lot. At the same time he did not really say anything to me. He wished me to be strong and to continue the race,” Nifontova told RT.
Later on after the marathon, Gregory wrote a post on his Facebook page explaining why he helped his rival rider.
“Well aware of the hell that may be the competition; I spontaneously helped twice the Russian Anastasiya Nifontova pilot who couldn't pick up her bike after a fall. I don't take particular pride for this gesture, which for me is natural in terms of the values that are mine: humanity is above all!”
The Russian racer took 75th overall among motorcycle racers. However, she took 2nd position in the women’s category and it was her first race in Dakar. The 38th edition of Dakar, one of the worlds’ toughest endurance challenges, began in Asuncion, Paraguay and ran through Bolivia and Argentina.