A Bournemouth graduate has become the first British woman to complete one of the world's toughest motor races.

Vanessa Ruck, 37,  has completed a 6,000 km race that took her from the casinos of Monaco to the Dunes of Dakar, Senegal, in 13 days.

Competing in the Africa Eco Race, which sees competitors race the old Dakar route, she was one of the few to successfully complete the race on her KTM 450 Rally Replica motorbike. 

Vanessa said: "I'm absolutely shattered. I don't think every single muscle in my body, and my brain, have ever been this tired.

"I feel really proud to have to be the first British woman to have done this. I'm not the first to try but to be successful is mind blowing."

Nicknamed 'the girl on a bike', Vanessa's result is even more incredible considering her near incident in 2014.

While riding her motorbike in the UK, a car pulled in front of her which she hit head-on. She was rushed to A&E with injuries to her head, shoulder, knee, and hip.

Starting bike racing after the incident, Vanessa's achievements have come on an incredible road to recovery.

On her recent success in the race, Vanessa said: "It’s like I’ve reclaimed control – up until now the toughest thing I’ve ever done was fight on following my accident, but now the hardest thing I’ve ever done is something I chose. It makes me feel so alive.”

One of only 25 out of 46 in her category to complete the full race, she spent 103 hours on her bike and finished 27th overall.

Vanessa followed the race with a visit to Gambia with charity Two Wheels for Life.

The charity aims to fund motorbike transport for healthcare services in Africa. 

A brand ambassador for the charity, Vanessa said: "The infrastructure in Gambia is very limited, it's lot of dirt roads and it's a long time to get anywhere.

"Motorcycles are ideal due to able to 410km a tank and their agility. Two Wings for Life brings in 66,000 litres of fuel for their 440 vehicles which they then distribute to make sure people can get help."