Comeback on two wheels after two years of no riding. Feels great!

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Today I’m officially back in the saddle! It’s been two years since i crashed and badly injured my right shoulder. Last August I finally had it operated and its taken 6 months to heal.
Now I felt ready to jump back on my bike.
Some of my friends took me out on nice and fun enduro tracks. I was a little worried how my shoulder would feel, so kept my calm just riding nice and smooth. But wow did if feel great to be back on the bike!
And no pain, or strain. I am so happy!
(Photo by Micke Nyström)


I am free! See the scar!!

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Today the cast was taken off after more than one month in cast.
But now I will use a plastic thumb-brace for a month before I can start using the thumb. So it will be a while until I can ride a bike…

the thumb is free again

Thumb surgery next: Ligament totally ruptured

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This morning I had an appointment with my doctor, and the verdict is a totally ruptured ligament which needs surgery. I am lucky I could even ride the Dakar at all.. because there is no strength or stability in the thumb at all, and still very painful.

I hope I will have the operation next week, or as soon as possible. The rehab after will be minimum 6 weeks… (3 weeks if I decide).

Stage 8. Drama in the tomb.

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Antofagasta-Copiapo, special 472km
Stage position 86, 09:45:43 (+04:16:18). Total 50.

Link video Bike in tomb:

Saved from above.

“At km 131 the track split around some ruins, and joined again after. To avoid dust I cut from right track over to the left, across a small rise. Behind the rise a 5m deep tomb opened, 2×3 wide. I rode too slow to jump and too fast to stop. Put the breakes on, slided bike to the left and abandoned ship. Instinctively I managed to jump to the left edge while bike tumbled down with the engine still running. I am lucky not to go down there cause the walls were impossible to climb.”

Bike & helmet on tomb bottomAfter getting back on her feet, a little shaken, Annie realized the bad situation. She could neither go down to lift the bike up nor get to the emergency alarm. It wasn’t possible even with help from the others – no way! She stopped some riders so they could call the HQ for help.

“A helicopter came and I climbed down with a thin rope to check the bike, it was okay. We tried to pull the bike, but no way. They said I must wait for the organisation truck to come and help. It took a while but then Mr Etienne Lavigne, race director, arrived in a helicopter instead! Like a true hero he climbed down with a rope, tied my bike with the real tie roses, and instructed the pilot how to lift it. Now I could continue the race, saved by the angel from above. Getting help from Etienne himself made me feel much better in that awful situation. Only suffering from painful swollen hand and aching foot.”

Annie's bike in a tomb

FAQ: Why and how did this happen?
(f**k): There was no mark of this hole in the roadbook! That’s Dakar…

Roadbook of the track where the tomb was
(Explanation of signs comes later)

Annie's jumping bikeImage right:
Is the Super Rocket jumping or flying!? Just happy when the track is good …

Photo right by Maindru

Tonight the bike needs some makeover, it was rather scratched and battered.

“And so do I….”

Medical treatment by my favorite doctor. Been here since stage 3 with twisted thumb. Today I injured my hand even more when jumping off the bike, left ankle also hurts.

Medical treatment

Stage 6. Got in the flow again

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Antofagasta – Iquique , Special 418 km
Stage pos 31, 06:02:56 (+01:15:57). Total standing 40.

We had a fear of engine problems when the bike didn’t start. My mechanic checked all details: adjusted valves, new sparkplug, cleaned carb and made it leaner, cleaned fueltanks. All was okay, no need to change the engine. The problem is the airfilter. I run two, but now we put a wettex cloth between the two filters and I had a spare set in my riding jacket, in case. Hoped we thought of everything now.
I decided to take no risks today.

Started like a Super Rocket. I was flying! And today i could use thumb a little. Nice fast and sooth track, but with dangerous washouts and cracks. I had one focus – stay out of dust – the engine barely made it yesterday. Strategy in off pist: I cut across everywhere I could only using compass and dust clouds. But my navigation and tactic worked and I passed many riders. At cp1 I was 15th general. I heard many got lost just before, but my navigation was accurate. Until 2/3 of the stage my position was between 15-19! Before cp2-refuel the engine started suffering, and at the refuel I changed the filter. Then the bike was happy again.

Stage 6 crossing a river
Photo by Maindru

Approaching finish I paced down a bit to save energy for the next stage 7 (tomorrow) 600 km, letting some bikers had a chance to overtake – but the time differencies were very small. All afternoon I could ride alone in no dust. enjoyed fantastic scenery, arid plateaus, mountains, dunes… like fom another planet. At the finish we had a 3 km descent from the mountain down to the sea. Breathtaking view! Biggest downhill I ever rode.

Annie gives interviews in the shadow under a truck
Cool place for giving interviews: in the shadow under a truck.

I feel just great! My thumb is still swollen but not hurting too much, and I could get good grip of the handlebar. So riding was all right, as there was no more terrible pain disturbing. But every night the thumb gets electro treatment and new supportive bandage.
Quite a race!

Luca Manca to hospital Jan 7At finish I was very sad to hear that my friend Luca Manca, with whom I had breakfast this morning, had a bad crash only after 10 km. He got severe head injuries.

Stage 1. Flying start for Annie

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Annie on 1st stage
Image by Maindru Photo

Stage 1, Jan 2: Buenos Aires – Cordoba

#076 SEEL (SWE) KTM / Standing 45 / 02:09:17 +00:18:35

Annie was very happy after this stage. The special 150 km was a mix of very technical parts and fast gravel roads. The KTM 525 – “Super Rocket” – really rocks super. There is a lot of power in this engine. Also the size feels good, though the rear part is higher than usual because of the long shockabsorbers.

This day was kind of warming up. Annie took it the safe way, taking no risks in the dust. Relayed on her routine without getting too eager in the beginnig of the race. Almost the whole stage she kept company with #77 Hamard, a biker with dakar experience and good navigation skills.
The day started early and also the stage finished early, so there was plenty of time for a shower, eating and bike service.
Tomorrow Annie starting number is better, which means less overtaking and riding in her own tempo.

And some sorrow…
The rally also had a very sad beginning. A rally car veered off of the road and ran right into a group of spectators. Several people were badly hurt, and later a woman died of her injuries.