Tuesday 26th December 1978
The first Paris-Dakar Rally began. 182 vehicles (80 cars, 90 motorcycles and 12 trucks) turned up in the Place du Trocadéro in Paris for a 10,000-kilometre (6,214-mile) journey into the unknown, destination Dakar. The encounter between two worlds sought by the event’s founder, French motorcyclist Thierry Sabine, unfolded on the African continent. Among the 74 trail-blazers who made it to the Senegalese capital, Cyril Neveu, at the helm of a Yamaha 500XT, would be the first winner of what would go on to be called ‘the greatest rally in the world’. Did you know that in 1979 all the vehicles that took part were classified together, although they would compete separately in subsequent editions of the race and that Cyril Neveu won the rally despite not winning any individual stages, taking the lead on the sixth stage after Patrick Schaal (Yamaha) fell and fractured his little finger.