Laura Cola is not just any biker. She is a teacher, who since 2007 has taught thousands of girls of all ages – through her “Donneinsella” school (https://donneinsella.com) – to tame the two wheels. And she is an explorer, who loves to go beyond her limits. And so, after having raced the “1000 curves” in Italy, the “Gibraltar Race” and many other amateur races, this year it launched into the “Budapest-Bamako”, an extreme rally across five African states, heir to that Dakar Rally which since 2009, for security reasons, has moved to Latin America.
Budapest-Bamako, Laura’s challenge
The 730 participants – who started from Budapest, who from other cities of Europe – gathered for the start in Marrakesh, destination Freetown. Laura Cola was on a Honda CRF 250 Rally and covered 7,000 kilometers in fifteen days. She was the only Italian representative and, at the finish line, the first woman in the history of the thirteen editions to finish the motorbike race. “It was an experience at the” boarding “- he says -. Honda provided me with the bike, Givi provided all the equipment. The organization only says where the camp is at night, you have no technical assistance, if you are sick there is an emergency number but it is not said that they will recover you. In short, everything or nothing could happen ». Something has happened.
Cars and motorcycles participate in the rally. Laura was traveling with a Swedish friend, Carl Danielsson, each in her own medium. “For security reasons, we went through Mauritania in one day, without stops. For the rest, we spent whole days in the middle of nowhere. Even in two you feel alone. You drive 15 hours a day, take four photos on the fly and often you don’t even take off your helmet. “
Meanwhile, the landscape changes. From the desert sand of Morocco and Mauritania to the steppe and savannah of Senegal to the explosion of red earth and forest of Sierra Leone. «And women change. At the beginning they are all black, covered from head to toe, as they descend to the south they become exotic, colorful, dressed in flowers, smiling. And in the same way you have the perception of the different danger. Morocco is safe, even if for an off road lover like me they are asphalting a bit too much; Mauritania is no man’s land, the perfect setting for Blade Runner or Mad Max, car carcasses everywhere, Berbers dressed in black and a crazy wind; Senegal is sunny and peaceful; in Guinea we made absurd detours because they were killing people in the capital; in Sierra Leone they came back to smile at us ». Being a charity competition, the donations collected are destined for the countries crossed: over € 900,000.
However reckless and adventurous, Laura confesses that she was afraid more than once. «In Senegal we drove for five hours in the night, the path was not found, we kept falling between sand and brambles, with thorns in the face and in the hands. In Morocco I was alone, I had lost contact with Carl, there was wind and I had no more gas, with the anxiety of getting stuck in nothing “. And now? “I stay at home. As soon as the emergency ends, I get back on track. “
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March 30, 2020 (change March 30, 2020 | 12:56)
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