Wigan's own Dakar Rally hero wants to be the first of many!

Wigan's Jane Daniels admits she wants to pave the way for others after making history at the famous Dakar Rally.
Jane Daniels during this year's Dakar RallyJane Daniels during this year's Dakar Rally
Jane Daniels during this year's Dakar Rally

The 29-year-old - a former Standish High School student - was not only the highest placed Brit at this year's race., which was held in Saudi Arabia.

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She was also the sole female finisher - and just the third British woman to make it to the end.

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And after covering the total distance of 8,000 km (4,970 miles) on her motorbike - one of the five vehicle categories - Jane is hoping to have inspired others to take up the unique challenge.

"I've got a lot of people looking up to me," she acknowledged. "There are a lot of young girls riding in the UK, with a lot more coming through which is really nice to see.

"I hope to do some training camps or something with them in the future. There were two other British women before me that finished Dakar but yeah, it's an unbelievable experience".

Having managed to achieve her goal of finishing in the top 50, Jane - who placed 48th - is already looking forward to bettering that next time.

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"After a couple of days, I wanted to set myself the goal of a top 50 finish, which I was really pleased with," said Jane, who was already a four-time Enduro world champion.

"I'm going back out to Italy to speak to the team and have a little bit of a celebratory party to celebrate my Dakar finish.

"I'd love to do it again, yeah...it was two weeks of absolute non-stop madness. I absolutely loved it.

"I'd never been before so I had no idea what to expect, just the length of the days you were riding, the scenery that you ride through, more rocks than you could ever imagine.

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"An Enduro day would be between six to eight hours, but a rally day can be anything between 10 to 13."

Not that it was all plain sailing in "I had a big crash on day six which wasn't ideal," she told the BBC. "I was just out in the dunes in the middle of nowhere.

"They call it the empty quarter in Saudi Arabia, I was just riding along maybe for three hours and I didn't see a single other person.

"I was like oh, this is a little bit lonely, I don't want to be breaking down around here!”

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Jane picked up her love of the sport from dad Andy, along with her brother Gary.

“We always had bikes as kids, little PW50s,” she said. “My dad would take us out riding maybe once a month, and we would watch him road racing.

"At some point my brother Gary wanted to give some form of racing a go, but dad said road racing was too fast and too expensive, so he told him to try Enduro instead.

"At at some point I said, 'Can I have a go too?' and Dad replied, 'Yeah, if you want'. I progressed into racing myself at the age of 12, and the more I rode, the more I enjoyed it!”

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