Friday, January 8th, 2010
Team Rally Australia’s Christophe Barriere-Varju entered stage 5 of the Dakar Rally on a high note, being ranked 64th over all.

Calling it the “first real Dakar stage of 2010”, Christophe said the terrain of the Atacama desert on the Chilean side of the Andes was more suited to his riding style and bike than the previous stages. The Atacama has been dubbed the driest place on earth. Christophe, who trains on the sand dunes of Port Stephens on the NSW north coast, is French-West African born and a competitor in the original Paris-Dakar Rally.

Sydney film maker Simon Lee, who is filming Christophe’s entire Dakar Rally experience, describes the landscape as ranging from “stunningly beautiful to downright unsettling. Huge gritty sand dunes the size of mountains dwarf anything before them.”

The Dakar organizers shortened the stage after a large number of riders and drivers didn’t make it home until late into last night or early this morning from the previous punishing special.

“After the horrors of yesterday’s special, I’d say today was a welcome respite,” Lee said. “Christophe’s bike is fine. Just the air filter to be changed. So Christophe gets a well earned early night before a very long ride tomorrow.”

Contact Profile

Team Rally Australia

Christophe Barriere-Varju has met and overcome many challenges and dreamed many dreams on the road to becoming one of the world’s leading off-road motorcycle racers. Born in France, raised in West Africa, and completing his education in California, Christophe started racing at the age of 14, winning legendary status around his hometown of Abidjan in the Ivory Coast for his aerial acrobatics, skills and speed on a motorcycle. He once competed before a crowd of 220,000 spectators (a world first) at the West African Motocross des Nations, which he won five times. The name “Barriere” is known all around West Africa. An inspiration to thousands of fans of all ages, Christophe is renowned for his impeccable riding techniques, and he has trained many riders in Africa, California and now an accredited motorcycle coach in Australia.
Simon Lee
P: 0401750069


Christophe says the terrain of the Atacama desert on the Chilean side of the Andes suits his riding style and bike.


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