Initially registered to compete as a duo, Gilber and Oriol Escalé came up against a dilemma several weeks before the Dakar. They had to choose which one of them would ride the sole bike to take starter's orders!

Fate is sometimes cruel. For the debuts on the Dakar, the Escalé twins had planned a grand entrance. The two brothers were to tackle the first major challenge of their careers side by side, with race numbers 96 and 97 on two identical Suzukis and in matching coveralls.

However, the bad news that one of their sponsors was withdrawing threw a spanner in the works of the plans of this young pair of riders: the lower budget meant that only one of them could register! How could they choose, having been together forever, which one would have the privilege of taking part in their first Dakar?

Their presence on the first and second steps of the junior Bajas world championships showed just how evenly matched they are and, after endless discussions, neither of them wanted to give up the single bike that was now only available.

"It wasn't possible to come to agreement," says Oriol. "So, we decided to draw lots. We wrote our names on two pieces of paper and we asked an impartial hand to blindly choose which of us would be on the starting line". The hand in question belonged to Rosa Maria Pelaes, who has been equally cherishing them for the last 21 years.

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This time, however, the mother of the family had to choose between them in spite of herself… In the end, it will be Oriol who will fly the family flag on the tracks in January. "However, we'll still both be present on the race," explains the luckier brother, without boasting. "I'll be on the bike and Gilbert in a press vehicle. He will be writing articles for a newspaper, which will allow him to discover the rally behind the scenes for next year, because it's a sure thing that in one year's time, we'll be riding together!"

Source: Dakar