S10. Uphill… and down

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Started very well, improving the position during the first half of the stage.

Via sms: – In the downhill sections last dunes the electric system died, I checked all fuses and cables etc, but they were okay. No electricity to the starter and had no strength to kick start. But at last I got some help to kick start, and could ride again. It rolled on fairly well until the GPS battery run out, just when I came to the last riverbed. I followed a track, but many riders had taken this wrong way… There was a muddy hole…. and the bike sank right into it, so did my boots up to my knees. I gatherd branches to put under the bike, but it took a long time and all my powers to get the bike up. I thought this was the end, I was all alone. Totally exhausted, no water and hot like hell.
At finish the electricity worked again! Probably it was a bad contact because of sand and mud or corrosion. The mechanics will look it through and put in extra cables and a new battery.

Quite disappointed. I lost at least 1½ hour, but I made it to finish… as 70th. Overall pos 50.
But there are a couple of days left with long stages…

A moment on top – and then…

Etappen startade mycket bra, förbättrade tiden under första halvan av sträckan.

Via sms: – Nedanför bergets sista sanddyn lade elen av. Började leta efter trasiga säkringar och lösa sladdar, men alla var hela. Ingen elstart och jag orkade inte kicka. Fick hjälp att kicka igång till slut.
Sedan rullade det på tills batteriet i GPS tog slut precis när jag kom till sista flodbädden. Följde ett spår men tyvärr många som åkt fel där, och jag sänkte hojen i ett gegghål så stövlarna sjönk. Tog lång tid komma loss, trodde det var kört, helt ensam. Slut på ork, inget vatten och stekhett.
Vid mål funkade elen igen! Måste vara dålig kontakt pga sand och lera eller korrosion. Mekarna kollar upp allt och sätter in extra kablar och nytt batteri.

Ganska besviken. Förlorade minst 1½ timme, men jag kom i mål… som 70. Total pos 50.
Men det är ett par dagar kvar med långa sträckor…


S9. Still recovering

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– These have been really lousy days, have not been this sick in ages, says a tired Annie.
– I don’t know what was worst on stage 7, the broken clutch, the fever or the stomach illness. I had convulsions all the way – a day in hell.
– Today the riding was okay, but I did not feel quite strong to do my best. I have not been able to eat anything since saturday, only having that a medical dropper and special nutrition drinks.
The race goes on tomorrow, and anything can still happen.
Annie has gained some lost time, but the gap to Laia is more than an hour, so there is much to catch up.
Stage result pos 36 as best lady, but 2nd on pos 51 overall.

Special stage 9

– Det har varit riktigt risiga dagar, har inte mått så dåligt på länge, säger en trött Annie Seel.
– Vet inte vad som var värst på etapp 7, kopplingen, febern eller magen, det var kamp varje meter, från början till slut, en dag i helvetet.
– Idag har det gått bra, men jag hade inte riktigt orken i kroppen för att orka hela vägen. Har ju inte kunnat äta något sen i lördags, får bara dropp varje dag och särskilda näringsdrycker.
Vi kör vidare imorgon igen, fortfarande kan allt hända.
Annie vann tillbaka en del av den förlorade tiden, men skillnaden till Laia är över en timme, så det är mycket att ta igen.
Etappresultat: plats 36 som bästa dam, men 2a totalt på plats 51.

Visiting Loctite shop – the rest is about rally
Stage 9, Bikes – Annie in the last minute!

Swedish Pressroom, updates: Kontinuerlig Svensk pressinfo
2011-01-11 “Back from the Dead”: EnglishFrançaisEspañol

S8. Still in the race, but not strong yet

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Annie got up already at 3.30 in the morning, this means she had not many hours to sleep. The fever had gone down, but she was still quite weak and somewhat dizzy. She got on the bike and headed to the start of today’s stage, a long one – connection 270 km and the special 508 km. Again very tough tracks, but Annie made it to the 54th position. That is remarkable considering she is not fully recovered. She was of course very tired. Also she must go visit the dictor again.

Photo: water refill

Annie vaknade upp tidigt i morse 3.30, så det blev inte mycket till sömn. Febern hade gått ner men hon var rätt svag och lite dåsig. Hon ga sig iväg mot starten i dagens långa etapp – transport 270 km och 508 km special. Åter svåra sträckor, men Annie klarade 54e plats. Det är anmärkningsvärt då hon ännu inte återhämtat sig. Hon var förstås väldigt trött, och måste besöka läkaren igen för kontroll.

S7. Poisoned by food!

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Stage 7 became a night mare. Annie used her last powers to ride to the bivouaq. She had high fever and her stomache felt really bad. She has now a medical dropper and gets antibiotics for the food poisoning.  The doctors will decide in the morning if she can go on with the race.

Many other participants also got food poisoned, all from the dakar catering. How is this kind of safety?

Another problem this day was that the clutch broke already in the beginnig of the stage. Riding in the difficult terrain without a clutch made the strain even worse. No wonder she lost much time.  She finished the stage as number 90, last lady this time. Tina Meier followed Annie on the connection to the bivouac where she went to the doctor.

One good thing was that this stage’s specials were shortened by a half. There were two of them planned, in total some 600 km, but only one part of 273 km was run. This because many contestants had arrived very late from the 6th stage before rest day that they there was not much time for rest at all.

S4. Riding (through) rocks!

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Early start to cross 4800 m pass into Chile, very cold at that altitude.
The special stage was short but intense. Fast dusty gravel tracks winding across mountain land of fesh fesh. I set off at easy pace in the dust, to avoid mistakes when the visibility was zero! Good navigation and happy with stage result, pos 51.

Start mycket tidigt på morgonen för att köra över passet till Chile, på 4800 m höjd var det jättekallt.
Specialsträckan var kort men intensiv. Snabba grusvägar som slingrade genom bergslandskapet med mjuk fesh fesh. Gav mig iväg i lugnt tempo, det var så dammigt att man inte såg någonting! Navigeringen klarade jag bra och var nöjd med dagens resultat, 51 på etappen.

Swedish Pressroom, updates: Kontinuerlig Svensk pressinfo
2011-01-05 “Stages 3 & 4”: EnglishFrançaisEspañol

S2. Catching up

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I had a lot to catch up after yesterday’s time loss because of the leaking fuel tank. I got a good speed and overtook many riders, finishing on pos 55.
I’m very satisfied with my riding.

Hade en del att ta igen efter gårdagens tidsförlust pga läckande tank. Fick en bra fart och svepte förbi en massa hojar, slutade på plats 55.
är mycked nöjd med körningen.

First race day… here we go!

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Today was the first race day. I had some problems with the tank, fuel was dripping out. I tried to fix it but it was not easy, must check it thoroughly later. This caused some delay, but I hope it did not cost too much.
It was raining rather much so the track got very muddy. The riding was quite good, I had a good day.

Idag var första tävlingsdagen. Jag hade problem med tanken som läckte bensin. Försökte täta läckan, men det var inte så lätt, måste kolla det ordentligt senare. Det orsakade en liten försening, men förhoppningsvis ingen större skada.
Det regnade rätt mycket så spåren blev väldigt geggiga. Köringen gick riktigt bra, jag hade en bra dag.

Hitting the road

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The starting ceremony today was a party, like always in Buenos Aires. So many cheering people everywhere along the road. The competitors feel like heroes.


Startceremonierna var en riktig folkfest, som alltid i Buenos Aires. Enormt mycket människor överallt längs vägen. De tävlande känner sig som hjältar.


VIDEO, Youtube: Spectators cheering and welcoming Annie

My Dakar racenumber is… 56!

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The starting list has been published and we are three Swedish riders, but no cars.
22 Thomas Berglund (3 previous starts in the Dakar, 2 finishes)
56 Annie Seel (4 previous starts in the Dakar, 4 finishes = 100%)
103 Ronnie Bodinger (Dakar-rookie who has raced the Tuareg rally in Morocco)

Me and my KTM Super Rocket Evo II at Team Meca’System workshop in France.
Note the stylish saddle-bag… Ready to go Dakar!

Dakar 2011 official promo movie

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Great feeling!
Take a close look approx 3.50 min into the film, I’m celebrating on the podium. But be careful you dont miss it…