Happy Holidays & Happy Dakar!

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I can’t believe it is already Christmas, and soon Dakar again.
And I will be on the starting line… Despite a tough year through economic crisis and physio therapy.

Holidays Greeting from Annie

Bike & Team 2010

I will again ride my KTM525, aka “Super Rocket”, in team Meca’System, a very professional team I trust, and we will in fact be the biggest team represented in the Dakar with 10 bikers and 4 on quad.
The bike is due to small size budget recycled from my Dakar 2007 bike, upgraded with a new engine from KTM and some other parts from Meca’System. Big thanks to main sponsors by Team Meca’System, DekkPartner/Michelin, KTM, Elmborgs Dental & Lindroths Machines.

But it has been a long way to the start…
After last year’s Dakar I was a bit battered and bruised, shoulder damaged, broken nose. It took me quite a few months to get back in the saddle again.

Australasian Safari Rally

In august I was invited by Aussie Garry Connell, team boss Husaberg Rallye Australia (who is also racing Dakar 2010), to come and have a go at the Australasian Safari. Also thanks to the Octagon race organisation this long time dream of mine became true (already in 2001 I wanted to go down under).
Not only was this my come back after the Dakar, it was also the premiere of new Husaberg 570 in a rallye. After a week of some really tough rally stages, including a stick piercing my boot and leg, I finished 16th – and we had 4 Husabergs in top 20. What a success!

Big thanks to Husaberg Rallye Australia and Octagon for a fantastic experience – I’ll be back! www.australasiansafari.com.au

Image: Safari Rally encountering – Sweden vs USA

EcoEnduro & Trial

This autumn I have ridden a little enduro and also tried trial for the first time properly. Really super training, need to get a trials bike next year.

And I have also been part of a new page in motorcycle racing history. I raced in the first ever FIM Ride Green Eco Enduro. The wolrd’s first ever international electric enduro race, held in Copenhagen during the UN Climate Change Conference, in good company with racing stars like former 5 time MX World Champ Joel Smets… Congratulations to Fabien Planet, crowned the first Eco Enduro Champion!
I must say it was a new sensation racing around in silence through the woods, like going to a rock concert but no-one turned on the volume!
Big tanks to Danish organisers and Ivan Reedz-Thott. www.ecoenduro.com
Annie Seel & Joel Smets at EcoEnduro
Image: Joel Smets & Annie Seel

Follow my progress…

Now it is all final prep for Dakar, the start is 1 Jan, finish 16 Jan.
Follow my progress in Dakar here on this blog and also on my other web http://www.annieseel.com and the page Hang-out!
Press & Media contacts during the Dakar: Marie Hessel +46 702-23 86 36, mounthessel@gmail.com

To get into winter feeling, watch my snowy enduro action video…
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Warmest thanks to all my sponsors, supporters and friends during the year
Wishing you all Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year.

Snowy hugs!

6 months after the Dakar 2009…

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It has been a long way back after my multiple injuries in the Dakar 2009. Not only my nose was broken, also my right shoulder took a bad hit and some muscles and ligamnets were torn.

… on the saddle again – Enduro

Last week I was really back in business again. I raced my first enduro, a 4-day event with 6 special tests every day and some 250 kms of liasions in between. First two days I felt a bit uncomfortable with the shoulder, but the last two days I was having fun and increasing speed! Finished 4th in the womens class, only 2-3 minutes behind second place. The winner was too fast…

Home from Hell!

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What happened? Why can’t it just be a nice ride from start to finsih? Riding was not the problem, but as always things happend… and this has been the most dangerous Dakar I’ve ridden – not the track but the dust. You were never in a clear spot chasing up the field…
Starting first stage perfectly with a 41st place without too much pushing through the dust. But then…
On stage 5 my front mudguard broke, caught the front wheel pulling the brake cable and jammed it into full stop – and face plant over the handlebars!
I broke my nose and ripped off the chin piece of my helmet, lucky not to break my neck. Also badly bent handlebars, so riding the remaning 150 kms was tough in the dunes and lama grass, rain, hale and mud (no mudguard means all shit was in my face…)
And then on stage 12 my carburettor was not working, so I had major problems ridning the bike, specially up the steep and sandy mountainclimbs. Flipped the bike on the top of the biggest and injured my right shoulder (same as in Egypt) and then handling the bike one-armed was hell.
I fell a few more times on the shoulder and making it worse until I could not hold on to the bike. A car team stopped and called for the helicopter to rescue me. But I refused to push the “red button” of quitting, instead asked the doctor to tape up my shoulder so I could continue. No-one of the other bikers who stopped to watch me thought I could ride on. Ha! They dont know me!!! Did all the dunes, sandy river beds, rocks, bushes and fesh-fesh.
Of course also got out of fuel because of the malfunctioning carb. I had to stop locals and beg for fuel and find a village with a station…
It took until sunset before I cleared the stage.

So what can i say – happy to be alive and reach the finish! That’s Dakar!

On the Podium – finish Dakar 2009

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Finish Dakar 2009 podium
Annie on the podium Dakar 2009

Mission completed!

Thank you yellow helmet!

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Annie showing the broken helmet

LEVI-4685, originally uploaded by dunerider70.

If the helmet did not break…. I do not want to think about what could have happened! For sure I would not been able to end this Dakar 2009!

Annie surrounded by journalists

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Annie & crowd of journalists

Rally Dakar 2009, originally uploaded by dunerider70.

15 days struggeling against sand, rocks, storm, rain, hail and pain
through almost 9000 km between the Atlantic and Pacific
on two wheels during 81 hrs 14:58 (and all “service” time in between).
Now it’s over.
Note by Sis Eila

Happyness & victory

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Annie - victory & happiness

Rally Dakar 2009, originally uploaded by dunerider70.

So much happiness in her face! Annie finally made it. Surrounded by cheering photographers and Journalists Annie arrived few minutes ago at the Parc Ferme’ in Buenos Aires. “You are the winner!” people shoutet! Everybody clapping hands! Dozens of Journalists and Photographers asked for photos and interviews welcoming Annie after her arrival in La Rural.

Stage 14, Jan 17. Cordoba-Buenos Aires. The last challenge.

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The competitors started the last day at 3 am from Cordoba, the transport was 224 km. We must be in time for the start at about 6.30 am.
The Special stage was only 227 km, but very tricky. Fesh-fesh, sand, dust, fast parts right ahead, then sudden 90 dgr turns. Really dangerous! Many took a chance – and crashed! A few vehicles got totally wrecked. What a way to end a competition on the last day…
I did not want to risk anything, so I kept a moderate speed. I still had the shoulder aching and bandaged, could not move my arm. It just hanged there strengthless. As yesterday I put the hand on the handlebars and grabbed with the fingers. So I had to ride softly.
Luckily the engine run very good now.
And I made it through! I was 82 on the stage and 76 in total.
Then the last transport to Buenos Aires 341 km, arriving at 15.45. And later get some rest (?).

More news later…

Watch some videos

Posted by Sis Eila