A lifetime of a novel. Crossing at 100 per hour to the borders of a world that he has most frequently traveled with compass in hand. His personal north was Africa, however it’s in Garches, within the Hauts-de-Seine, that Hubert Auriol has definitely closed his eyes this Sunday, at 68 years old, carried away by a cardiovascular accident after an extended battle with the illness and Covid-19. The person had a reputation of President of the French Republic, a bodily James Bond and an adventurous character, attracted by something that would open his horizon.
The Paris-Dakar, which made his popularity, was constructed for him, tailor-made to an existence riddled with goals, challenges and vast open areas. On December 26, 1978, driving his Yamaha 500 XT, Place du Trocadéro, not removed from the Eiffel Tower, a slender silhouette, frozen in the midst of the opposite opponents, already escaped, nicely past France and France. Mediterranean, obsessed by the new sand dunes the place this race imagined by Thierry Sabine should lead them.
“On the time, I used to be 25 years previous, I made a very good residing in ready-to-wear, I’ve a girlfriend, an condo, and I see all my associates beginning their households, shopping for their home on credit score, he’ll inform later. And there, I mentioned to myself that if I did not go away instantly, I by no means would. My life was going to shut for good. She opened vast.
VIDEO. Hubert Auriol, Dakar legend, died at 68
The beginner rider, enduro specialist, resigns and returns to his childhood spent in Ethiopia, in Addis Ababa, the place he was born. Africa is harking back to this son of a very good household, whose character his father, a excessive official within the railways, cast. Land Rover excursions to find wild animals, bike races in entrance of steam locomotives within the marshalling yard, driving periods beneath the watchful eye of the non-public driver throughout the giant property … All these recollections return to the floor and hint its course to the celebs.
Legend of Paris-Dakar
Hubert Auriol completed 12th within the first Paris-Dakar, however he gained in 1981 after which in 1983. In 1987, he broke each ankles when he fell on tree stumps. Nicknamed “the African”, he then bought off a bike, bought right into a automotive and gained in 1992. Three years later, he was appointed director of the occasion. A place he held till 2004.
It was beneath his management that the rally-raid set off for the primary time outdoors France, from Spain (Granada in 1995, 1996 and 1999) and even from Dakar (1997 and 2000). In 2000 particularly, he was compelled to arrange an air bridge with a view to keep away from crossing the Niger, stricken by the terrorist risk.
“Africa is my homeland”
Nonetheless, the boss doesn’t get bourgeois. In 1987, his style for journey and overtaking had already led him to the file for the quickest round-the-world journey … in a propeller airplane. He had accomplished the problem in simply over 88 hours along with his companions Henri Pescarolo, Patrick Fourticq and Arthur Powell.
In 2001, it was one other form of problem that he imposed on himself by internet hosting a model new tv present that provided excessive bodily exams to candidates in paradisiacal landscapes: Koh-Lanta. The expertise solely lasted a season for him. A brief break in his life as a rally-raider organizer. After the Paris-Dakar, he certainly led different occasions in Africa after which discovered himself on the head of the China Grand Rally from 2013 to 2016.
Father of three daughters, Jenna, Julie and Leslie, all married, fulfilled grandfather, Hubert Auriol had lived for ten years with the businesswoman Soumia Malinbaum, sister of the director Yamina Benguigui. “Once I shut my eyes, I see my extraordinary childhood in Ethiopia, on this Edenic nature,” he mentioned. Once I was little, I used to be dazzled by the fantastic thing about these landscapes. It was pure happiness. Africa is my homeland. »His nook of paradise, the place he was born and revealed himself, just a few years later, to the world.