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Welcome to Carlyledesertracing.com

Paul Carlyle set up Carlyledesertracing.com to allow his attempt on the Dakar 2010 to be followed by other amateur riders, supporters and anyone interested in desert racing. On his first attempt, Paul finished the Dakar in 72nd place as the second Scot ever to finish and (due to bad luck suffered by others) as first British rider in the Dakar 2010.

While Paul is not yet finished with the Dakar and desert rallies in general, he is currently working on developing a programme to allow other Scottish riders (and riders from anywhere) to participate in desert races. We have great riders in Scotland but we are a long way from the desert. Carlyle Desert Racing aims to make use of the knowledge hard won by Paul to help reduce that distance.

The aim is to have a Scottish rider finish in the top 20 in the Dakar, the toughest race in the world.

Paul is a truly amateur rider (sometimes very amateur indeed), the Dakar can truly be attempted by those who are neither superhuman professional racers nor production company backed celebrities.

We will be developing the site on an ongoing basis to provide information and opportunities. However, anyone truly interested in what's going on and where to start should contact Paul on

Ongoing updates are available on Paul's twitter feed as well. Click below.

TThe Dakar finisher's medal


10 years ago Paul couldn't ride a motorcycle. Working as an office bound lawyer in Glasgow he decided to pass his motorcycle test and rode around the west coast of Scotland for a couple of years on a sports bike on sunny Sunday afternoons like most bikers. In 2003, however, he got in touch with Mungo Williams who persuaded him to go to Morocco on an offroad desert tour for 5 days on Honda dirt bikes. On that trip he met Cyril Despres, heard lots of Dakar stories and caught the Dakar bug - "one day I'm going to try to do that...".

6 years of riding enduros in the UK and entering as many desert races as he could afford ultimately led to an entry in the Dakar for 2010.

The Rally

Traditionally the Paris/Dakar Rallye, the Rally has not started in Paris for some years. Until 2008, however, the Rally did finish in Senegal at Dakar and the famous Lac Rose. Following terrorist threats in 2008 - primarily in Mauritania - the race was cancelled.

The Dakar organisers did an amazing job and relocated entirely new routes to South America in 2009.  2010 and 2011 saw these routes extended and refined. 2012 takes the Rally from Mar del Plata to the South of Buenos Aires through Argentina and Chile to finish in Lima, Peru.

Starting on the first of January the route heads north over the mountains to the Atacama desert in Chile then north to Peru. Over 9000 competitive kilometres.


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