The extraordinary adventure of a pure amateur who became a 4 times Dakar winner.

"Normally a rider waits until the end of his career before publishing a retrospective. Except that I have never been a fan of convention!
I wanted to tell my story but there is also an ulterior motive. The school in Africa that I help finance needs funds, both to continue its vital work and to expand, so that more children in its neighbourhood can benefit from an education. All profits will be donated directly to the school, my way of thanking the people of a country that has given me so much."

30,00€ Acheter le livre

  • The amazing story of a total amateur who went on to achieve 9 Dakar podiums and 4 victories in just 12 years.

  • 100 photos of the most prestigious and photogenic off-road race in the world, commented in his own words by Cyril Despres (text in French and English version).

  • All profits donated to ‘the Fabrizio and Cyril School’ created and funded by the Fabrizio Meoni Foundation and Cyril Despres in honour of Fabrizio’s memory.

The Fabrizio and Cyril School
My team-mate Fabrizio Meoni died a few days before the end of the 2005 Dakar... He didn’t talk much about it, but we knew he financed a school in the suburbs of Dakar. The day after the finish, with his Italian friends, we went to visit the school that carried his name. The two hundred children there that day were deeply moved by the death of their patron. It didn’t take us long to decide to continue Fabrizio’s work, both to pay homage to his memory and to help the people of a country who had always welcomed us with open arms.

At the finish of the 2006 Dakar, along with some of the people from the Fabrizio Meoni Foundation, we visited other projects on the outskirts of Dakar. Finally we decided to renovate and enlarge a second school at Yeumbeul Bene Baraque. A few months later work started on "the Fabrizio and Cyril School".

The Dakar maybe doesn’t run through Africa any more, but the school now has walls, a roof, good teachers and above all many children who prepare their future.
On my last visit, in February 2012, there was a director, 13 teachers and 321 children aged between 3 and 17. But 500 children living in the area still don’t have a place in school. Our ambition; to open our doors to more children, thanks to the sales of this book.
About Cyril
Cyril Despres made his Dakar debut in 2000 as a pure amateur, aboard uncompetitive machinery. That didn’t stop him finishing 2nd in his class, a feat that inevitably attracted the attention of the factory teams.

To date he has achieved 9 Dakar podiums, including 4 victories, with no sign of his appetite for victory abating. In the course of his professional career he has also won virtually every major rally-raid, becoming World Champion in 2003.

Unusually in a world of increasing specialisation, Cyril has also enjoyed an equally successful ‘parallel career’ in extreme enduro, and is a multiple winner of such prestigious events as the Erzberg Rodeo and the Red Bull Romaniacs.

When not competing, Cyril rarely rides a motorcycle, preferring to prepare for races with a punishing regime of gym, cycling and cross-country skiing.
A proud father and committed family man, he has fulfilled his childhood dream of living in a log cabin in the mountains, as a resident of the tiny Pyrenean Principality of Andorra.
About the book
"The idea of this book has been brewing for a while. Nothing in my education has prepared me for such an undertaking, and while I have learnt much in the process, I am indebted to the help of numerous contributors, particularly the many photographers who dug deep into their archives to donate many outstanding examples of their work.

I won’t deny I am proud of the result and very much hope you have as much pleasure reading it as I did putting it together. My overriding motivation however has been to find a means of funding the continuity and expansion of the school that bears my name and that of my friend Fabrizio Meoni.

Ever since I set foot in Africa I have felt a strong attachment to the continent and its people and although far from an exemplary student myself, since becoming a father I have been made even more aware to the vital importance of education.
All profits from the sale of this book will be donated, in their entirety to the school, to which I am a frequent visitor and active board member."
Text in French and English version.