Here's a question for you. Where do you think a straw bale comes into a team's Dakar preparation? Honestly, you'll never get it. In fact there's quite a lot about today that you wouldn't align with racing across the planet's hottest, driest spots.
Mini has selected a very fortunate few to come along and sit next to a Frenchman who is particularly handy at getting from A to B through the desert, be it on two wheels or four. But where am I meeting Stephane Peterhansel just days before he heads to the achingly hot desert plains? In the mountains.
The Austrian Alps, to be precise. Where the temperature is laughing in the face of anything positive and for fesh-fesh, read, er, snow.