In the Wild West, they have cowboys. In France – or specifically a small corner of southeast France, the Camargue – they have 'gardians'.
Their job is to herd cattle, on horseback, and they take it so seriously that they even wear cowboy boots, checked shirts and big hats. You’d be forgiven for thinking that these dudes had got lost on the way to a remake of The Lone Ranger.
So meet the Gardians of the Dakar: Marc Coma, Helder Rodrigues, Sam Sunderland and Matthias Walkner as they track down Stéphane Peterhansel, Carlos Sainz and Cyril Despres, and shakedown their machines for the 2015 Dakar Rally.
Except that this film – Gardians of the Dakar – takes a slightly different slant. The gardians are Red Bull’s Desert Wings bike riders, using Honda and KTM motorbikes instead of horses. And the ‘bull’ – which just like the real thing, manages to make a spectacular break for freedom – is Peugeot’s 2008 DKR buggy, as driven by Cyril Despres, Stephane Peterhansel, and Carlos Sainz. Of course it wouldn’t be a film about the Dakar without a massive Kamaz Master Team truck getting involved as well.
Who are the Gardians of the Dakar?
The action takes place through the saltmarshes and beaches of the Camargue: one of the most breath-taking landscapes that France has to offer. The Camargue is renowned for being one of the few European habitats of the pink flamingo and it’s also famous for its salt mountains. Which of course form something of an irresistible climbing frame for machines designed to tackle the epic Dakar…