The two-time Dakar Rally winner, Joan “Nani” Roma, announced on his Instagram page that he is battling bladder cancer, but the prognosis looks good and he will be undergoing treatment very soon, albeit with a bunch of races missed.
In his video announcement, Roma stated that he felt some pain in his back. Doctors were able to diagnose his cancer and deemed it treatable. As such, Roma will not be competing in events for a while on the road to becoming cancer-free. In the next few weeks, he will begin his chemotherapy sessions to treat his cancer. His doctors and coaches will be working together to get Roma back up to speed in order to bring him back into racing at the soonest.
Following his chemotherapy sessions, Roma will go under the knife in order to remove the tumor in his bladder. He also plans to continue training hard before and after the chemotherapy in order to keep in shape and be in the best shape possible once he returns to racing.
“This is life, and sometimes life has some bad surprises but that is the reality. I would like to say thank you to my team, sponsors and the doctors and my family. We are in the right place; we have the best type of technology for this cancer. That means we are really optimistic, and I will be back,” Roma stated.
Roma won the Dakar rally on a bike back in 2004 and he is one of only a few competitors that have successfully bagged accolades whether on two or four wheels. His four-wheeled achievement came in 2014, winning the car class with Mini. He is also one of the most experienced rally drivers in Dakar, and was part of the BRX Prodrive program since it started back in 2021—he finished fifth overall.
Going into his treatment, Roma will be surrounded by friends and family as well as a legion of his fans wishing him the best in his fight with cancer. Luckily, the outlook is good, and Roma hopes to get back into racing at the soonest.