Thierry Sabine (13 June 1949, Neuilly-sur-Seine – 14 January 1986, Mali) was a French wrangler, motorcycle racer and founder and main organizer of Paris Dakar. In 1977 he got lost in the Tenere Desert during the Abidjan-Nice Race and realised that the desert would be a good location for a regular rally where amateurs could test their ability. In December 1977 he organised a race from Paris to Dakar and devoted the rest of his life to its organization..
1979 - ALL TOGETHER AT THE TROCADERO. Thierry Sabine's gamble took shape on 26 December 1978, as 182 vehicles turned up in the Place du Trocadéro for a 10,000-kilometre journey into the unknown, destination Dakar. The encounter between two worlds sought by the event's founder unfolded on the African continent. Among the 74 trail-blazers who made it to the Senegalese capital, Cyril Neveu, at the handlebars of a Yamaha 500 XT, wrote the opening entry on the honours list of the greatest rally in the world. 1986 - THE BLACK YEAR. Thierry Sabine, French singer Daniel Balavoine, journalist Nathaly Odent, pilot François Xavier-Bagnoud and radio technician Jean-Paul Le Fur all met their deaths in a helicopter accident. Thierry Sabine's ashes were scattered in the desert and his father Gilbert, aided by Patrick Verdoy, took over the helm. The race went on but no one's heart was really in it.