Meet the riders: Michael Metge
Michael Metge, a.k.a. MIKA, was still crawling his way from one side of the living room to the other while his father was speeding his way from Paris to Dakar; a feat he accomplished on six occasions. René Metge, Michael’s second cousin, won the Dakar three times and directed it too. Rallying is in the family DNA.
Metge started young: at four he already had his own bike, although it did take a few years before he got to ride in local and regional Motocross competitions. Soon he was competing in Enduro and the results were starting to show; Michael took fifth-place in the prestigious French Enduro Championship and in 2010 he achieved a runner-up spot in class E2 of European Enduro.
The rider’s first venture into rally came in 2008 at the Sardinia Rally Race, although it wasn’t until the 2013 Dakar that the Frenchman really showed himself to be a promising future talent. An eighteenth place finish in the world’s toughest rally was nothing to be scoffed at. Metge’s results – both overall and in each stage – didn’t go unnoticed and he was signed up to one of the factory teams for the Dakar the following year, finishing in thirteenth position. An injury and mechanical issues forced Michael out of the Dakar in 2015 and 2016.
Mika talks about the rally
For me the Dakar is…
the most difficult race in the world – a great challenge – but also the chance for maximum motivation. The first year I just wanted to finish it. Now, with the world’s best team, the aim is another one, given that my teammates are capable of doing really well and getting a result.
Why I decided to race in the Dakar?
The Dakar Rally is known throughout the world but it is particularly linked to France. Many of the famous French riders like Cyril Despres or Stéphane Peterhansel have been great examples for me. It was because of them that I decided to race the Dakar. They have been the motivation to keep going stage after stage and go so far in the hope of getting a good result.
My goal in this Dakar is…
to try and help my teammates to win the Dakar. My favourite moment in the Dakar was when I finished the first one. I hadn’t trained at all for the race, so I thought that it would be impossible to finish. It was like a dream when I finished. Now the goal is a different one, but all together we are going to fight for the victory.