Drama

#Dakar2016 Stage 6. Äventyr natten innan. Dagens start

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Fredag 8 jan Uyuny – Uyuny
Special stage 542km
#373 Seel & Hekses, planned start at 12:09:00 local time

Vi har börjat på dagens special!
Vi kom iväg 13:39:30, dvs lite försenade.
Här är altituden hela tiden över 4000 möh och det känns. Som tur mår jag inte illa längre.

Vi kom in i bivack vid 10-tiden (kl 15 svensk tid). Det var en lååång lååång och jobbig natt med många stopp på gårdagens maraton-sträcka. Vägarna var otroligt svåra uppe i bergen på upp till 4600 möh. Jag bogserades mest hela vägen av vår tävlings-truck #553, vilket var jätte farligt i nattens beckmörker. Min motor funkade ju inte, så jag hade ingen servo på varken styrning eller broms.

Det var läskigt att ligga bakom lastbilen i damm och lera, och försöka att undvika att krascha in i lastbilen eller ramla över kanten ner i en ravin. Kunde inte köra med lyse heller för batteriet skulle fort ta slut. Sikten = noll.
Till råga på allt gick bogserstången av i dragfästet (en sån där hjulhållare som bogserbilar har) så vi måste stanna och svetsa några gånger. Sista biten använde vi rep på gammaldags vis.

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VIDEO 10 sek inspelad med mobil från teve-sändning
“kamera i förarhytten”:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_Cja6bc0fJfalIweU9xNXQ1SUE/view?usp=docslist_api
Insänt av David Trenholm

#Dakar2016 Stage 5. Technical problems still unsolved

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Phone call from Annie to Eila late at night:
Annie was driving near a village so her cellphone had contact.
As reported before, the electronics that regulate fuel + air supply have not worked properly. But it’s very hard to figure out where the contacts fail among all wires.
Annie got help from their team truck #553, but they didn’t manage to solve the problem. So the truck is now towing her to finish and then to bivouack, so they are moving. Their service team is waiting to start the big job when they arrive. During these marathon stages they were not allowed to let service teams to do any repairs. Only what they could do themselves on the road.
Truck & Annie were somewhere about halfway on the special, so it takes some time. But they should manage in a fair time.

To be continued…

Check out http://Dakar.Visser.it/ shows the best tracking!

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Annie ringde mitt i natten:
Ekipaget körde förbi en by så det fanns mobiltäckning. Hon var vid gott mod, trots allt.
Som rapporterats tidigare har Annie problem med elektroniken som styr bränsle och lufttillförsel. Det är glappkontakt någonstans, men går inte att hitta var, finns en massa små sladdar. Glappandet gör att det ibland går att köra, ibland inte.
Som jag gissade har deras team-truck stannat och hjälpt till med undersökning av systemet. Även ett litet rör till bränsleslangen blev skadad, så nu är det ännu svårare att köra för egen maskin. Under maratonsträckorna får de ju inte låta service-team jobba, bara vad de själva kan fixa utmed vägen.
Men trucken har Annie på släp nu, så det går framåt med hyfsad fart. De var någonstans ungefär halvvägs. Tar väl några timmar att nå bivacken – sen blir det jobb åt serviceteamet! 

Fortsättning följer…

Dagens etapp bortspolad

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Etapp 1

Häftiga åskregn och storm under natten och morgonen i hela området har försenat hela körschemat.
Man väntade länge på bättre väder och tävlingsledningen senarelade starterna flera gånger under dagen. Till slut insåg man att det inte gick att genomföra några körningar alls. Översvämningar hade gjort spåren omöjliga att köra.

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Helikoptrarna kan inte heller flyga pga dåligt väder med tjocka moln, varför säkerheten på specialsträckorna äventyras.
Återstod bara att slopa även hela etapp 1 och förflytta sig till nästa uppehåll Villa Carlos Paz. Motorcyklar och quads får nu köra i konvoj bara på särskilda sträckor, bilar på vanliga vägar och trucks på service-vägar till nästa anhalt.

Etapp 2: specialsträckan i morgon lär vara mycket knepig.
Startordningen baseras på de ekipage som hann köra prologen före olyckan igår, de andra kör enligt turordning i deltagarlistor.

Vilken dramatisk start på Dakar-rallyt i år!

*

“Stage 1 got flushed away”
Really bad weather stopped all vehicles to drive today.
* Read more:
Comment Gaps.dakar.com/2016/dakar/stage-02/aso/ukie.php
Report Dakar.com/dakar/2016/us/stage-200/stage-report.html
* See all news in English on the Dakar-web Dakar.com/dakar/2016/us/

Last Stage Dakar 2014: I hope for Coma

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It has been a very hard Dakar this year, with long stages that reminded me of the Dakar in Africa… Also this shows in the result, there are big time gaps between the top riders.

My hopes for a Dakar win goes to Marc Coma, he has shown that when it is a tough Dakar he can play it well. Also he is a rider who does this because he just loves the sport.
Another hero of mine is Spanish lady Laia Sanz, who has show that she is a true pro that can ride with technique and navigate well. Go Laia, to a succesful finish within top 20!
In the car category it also shows that old Dakar veterans like Peterhansel and Roma stand close at the end.

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Dakar 2011 – a success turned into disaster. But still a victory to get to the finish

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I am celebrating my victory of getting the dead bike to the finish. Photo: Maindru

Well I can say I did it again. I finished the gruelling Dakar despite all kinds of unfortunate happenings.

The first week my strategy worked out pefectly. I had been running my own race, riding and navigating very well, but also pacing myself for the second week. The longer stages leading in for the rest day I started gaining time and positions. At rest day I could summarize a comfortable position as 38th general and leading the Womens class by 1.30 Hours. I felt ready for the second week, only my motorcycle had an engine change because the dust fesh-fesh is really eating everything inside.

But then my luck turned bad. Really bad. And the shit hit the fan.

In the evening of the rest day I started feeling sick, and during the night I had fever and bad diarrhea. At breakfast I could eat nothing, and had to make many stops during the morning liasion. At the start of the stage I feelt very unfocused with shivers, and my aim was just to get through the stage. To make things worse, my clutch malfunctioned half way into the stage, which made me suffer even worse in the most technical stage of the Dakar this year – a trial section climbing up and down some mountains with cracks and slippery sides, and really slow riding in narrow canyons. It had been a difficult stage for me even being fit with an intact bike – now I was totally out of strength, and when the bike stopped uphill and I had to turn around, and try start without cluth I almost gave up so many times… To handle the bike in this slow and gnarly terrain with no clutch and a dimmed focus of high fever – I cannot believe I even finished it! The doctor at the finish arranged for german rider Tina Meier to accompany me to the bivouack in case I got even worse. So thanks to everybody helping me.

At the bivouack I arrived almost unconscious with bad shivers and fever of 39,7 C, and was immediately taken care of in the medical tent. For many hours I had IV of antbiotics and other substances to take control of my condition, and the doctor told me this was the end of the race for me. But you know me – next morning I saddled up again, weak but determined to ride to the finish.

But in a sense this is where I left “walk over” in the race for victory, I knew I could not perform at my best and had lost a lot of time and momentum. Now my focus was just trying to make it to Buenos Aires just to keep my rate of 100% fulfilled rallies intact.

Still I tried to ride my best, actually mananging to pick up some speed and made some good stage results even if I stopped longer at refuels to see the doctors and fill up with energy drinks as could still not eat anything. The Copiapo dunes I really enjoyed, which rewarded me with a 36th position that day.

Next day through the Fiambala dunes I was still holding 35 position when my electrical system completely died. Nothing worked on the bike, and I stopped for a long timetrying to find a solution. Finally a fellow rider helped me start the bike and I could continue, but with no navigation instruments it was a challenge to find the good way to the end, and I mostly followed the tracks. This rendering I made the same navigation error as all the previous motorcycles had done – I followed a riverbed too far and then when turning back I unfortunately sunk my bike half way in the very wet and soggy mud. It took me some time and effort to pull the bike out of it, being alone and still quite weak.

Until now all the hardship had not quite broken my spirit, and still I was holding second place in the Womens class.

But on stage 11 disaster really hit me. Starting back in the field, carving through endless of the dangerous fesh-fesh, through rocky canyons and across a mountainpass of more than 3000 m, at km 179 my motorcycle died. As I had passed over the 3000 m mountains, I felt the engine loosing power more and more. Coming down to a very hot valley the engine was almost powerless, and I sensed a smell of oil. As I let off the throttle the motor died with a bang. I looked down and saw all the oil had pushed out from the oil seal by the gearshifter.

For a while I thought “End of bike, end of race”! But maybe someone could tow me… or if I found some oil..  #55 Kemal Merkit stopped and offered a slab of oil, and a lift to get help to push start the bike. I fixed the leaking oil seal, some locals provided with more oil, and finally after adjusting valves the engine was running again. I felt like MacGyver! But I had to ride slowly not to create any oil pressure, and I stopped many times to check oil and water level. And yes, I had no clutch today either.

I almost had the finish in sight, when the engine died again at the check point only 22 km from the finish – I started crying. The engine was steaming hot and leaking oil. I had to stop and let it cool down, pouring water on it. As the sun was setting the bike started but running very badly, and I prayed it would last the remaining 22 km. After 7 km I caught a slow truck, and as I tried to slow down before overtaking in the narrow track, the bike died on me. Again I broke into tears – why couldn’t it run for just the few kilometers – I felt so hopeless.
The bike was impossible to start again. The last biker that passed was so tired he could barely keep his own bike up. Now it was dark night and I was gazing at the stars – thinking I would have to push the bike to the end. Cars and trucks were still passing so my rescue was to get a jump start. Since the engine had now cooled down it started, and it ran very heavily and was noisy. I managed to ride almost all the way before it stopped and had to be pushed the last bit while my tears were running with anger, but I made it!! At 2 am I arrived in the bivouack, and my team hastily started changing the engine back to the one I used the first week. Meanwhile I tried to get my 2 hours of sleep before the next start.

Photo: REUTERS/Eric Gaillard - Downloaded from http://www.totallycoolpix.com

As soon as I took off on the penultimate and very hard stage starting with 70 km of very soft and energy draining sand, I felt I had to ride gentle on the engine because it was also not running well. This showed to be a very good decision as the stage got worse, through some really muddy streches and endless of heavy fesh-fesh filled tracks, putting a lot of strain on the engine. Also I managed to get deeply stuck in a mud rut, and the only person who could drag my bike out of it was #5 David Casteu who was running behind me due to mechanical problems. ( Thanks David, you are a hero!) The last part of the stage I was running slowly, and I could see the oil was starting to leak also from ths engine. Late night I arrived to the bivouac and now I had no more engines to use.

The final stage started really bad. My Sentinel system was malfunctioning, so I lost 30 minutes at the morning start when the officials tried to get it workning. Also my clutch ceased again and now my biggest fear was that the engine was going to cease already on the 500 km morning liasion as I had to ride at 120km/h to make my start before the cars. Worried I started to cry while riding, I could not believe how many ways this Dakar had gone wrong. And still there was a long day to reach the finish in Buenos Aires.

The last special stage was only 180 km on fast track. I took off riding at a moderate pace and the engine was running quite ok. I thought me and the bike would make it… until it stopped only 2 kms from the end. I could not believe this was happening! Luckily #180 Sulem stopped and towed me the last bit (including 2 falls) to the finishline, where I jumped off and pushed the bike across and then let it fall on its side and me standing on it like a dead horse. Then Sulem towed me all the way to Buenos Aires. (Thanks Sulem, this is Dakar friendship!)

What a victory – to get that dead bike across the finishline! Defying all the hardship served to me the second week. And to still have a 100% finishing record is also a victory!

I’m just so disappointed I could not race for the win in this Dakar. But this is why the Dakar is the Dakar. There are so many factors that can go wrong, and you need to get all of them right to win.

Also know there were so many other good riders who suffered from all kinds misfortune – some of them didn’t make it to the finish.

THANKS

Many thanks to everybody during Dakar that has helped out, fellow competitors (Pedro Bianchi Prata, David Casteu, Emmanuel Sulem, Kemal Merkit, Mathieu Serradori, Tina Meier, Christian Califano, Daniele Carmignani, Pederzoli, and more that i didn’t get name/numbers of)) officials, spectators. Truly this is what makes Dakar a special race – the friendship.

Thanks to my sponsors: Elmborgs Tandvård, KTM, Team Meca’System, Lindroths Maskin, DekkPartner, Michelin, KlarSynt, Lelles MC, IVVAB, Karnag, Exclusive Cars, Toppmontage, Kå-Hå’s bilplåt & lack, Bosse Carlsson, Segway, Jonotech Maskinservice, Real Wear MXW, Mattssons Smide, Safari tanks, ProService, Öhlns, MotoSpeed, Loctite, Art’n’Dito, HotSnacks, Shore AB, Coaltrane Products, Andres Åkare, Oljecenter i Vedum, MotoAventures, Endless Brakes, Prins Dirty Parts, EMX Racing, Arnalids Salong och Carrera Sunglasses.
And all my supporters, that bought Dakar-kilometers.
And my dear friends & family who are always supporting and helping..

Video clips:
Start show off – cheering fans
Interview after finish

On the podium with a dead bike
Summary 2011 with music. Fallings on S8 (at min 4.30) and S12 (at min 6.15)

Blood, sweat and tears

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ENGLISH
The last week was a real hell, a bloody fight for survival.
So deeply disappointed. Hard to be happy, it all feel like a total failure. It’s so cruel that the leading position in the first week turned into such a disaster, with a long struggle only to reach the finish at all.
Have been crying many many many times in the last days of Dakar. It was a hopeless feeling standing out there in the night with a dead bike, hoping for som little help like towing it to make it run a few more miles. Yet not sure to make it to finish.
The last morning the sentinel was malfunctioning and caused 30 minutes lost time on the connection, also the clutch broke and a stressful hurry to the start of the last special – then all tears came flowing while riding. The bike could break on the way in that speed – had to keep 120 km/h to make it to start time before the cars went off.
Then the bike really broke only 2-3 km from finish. Luckily a friend helped out by towing the bike the last bit. Then the bike was pushed over the finish line. – I fell it down and stood on it with both arms up – this was my victory! Getting a dead bike to the finish.

SVENSKA
Den sista veckan var ett riktigt helvete, en blodig kamp om överlevnad.
Otroligt besviken. Svårt att vara glad, känns bara så misslyckat.
Så grymt att den första veckans överlägsna ledning kan bytas till en sån katastrof, och det blir kamp om att kunna komma i mål överhuvudtaget.
Har gråtit flera flera flera gånger under de sista dagarna i Dakar. Det har känts så hopplöst att stå därute i natten med en död mc, och hoppas kunna få lite hjälp att bogsera igång så jag kan köra några mil till. Men inte vara säker på att komma i mål.
Sista morgonen när sentinel krånglade o jag tappade 30 min på morgontransporten, kopplingen lade av och jag stressade för att hinna till min start på sista specialen – då strömmade tårarna medan jag körde. Visste att hojen förmodligen skulle rasa på vägen för jag var tvungen att ligga i 120 km för att hinna (måste ta min start innan första bil sticker).
Och så stannade hojen bara 2-3 km före mål, men som tur var fick jag bogserhjälp den sista biten och kunde knuffa hojen över mållinjen.  Sen välte jag omkull den på marken och ställde mig på den med armarna i luften – det var min seger! Att ha fått en död mc i mål.

S11. Major mechanical problems!!!

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ENGLISH
A Genuine Dakar rally “the Annie style”. Date 13th…
– The competition is over, but the adventure begins. What a drama! At 170 km after wp 5 the engine just stopped. The gasket box had got loose and all oil had run out. And the water had evaporated from the hot engine. “So, that’s it, end of rally.” She lay down in the shadow, when Merkit Kemal stopped and told her to make a try. He took her to some spectators who had cross bikes. They had oil and followed her back to her bike. Annie put the gasket back and secured it with wire ties. When the engine had cooled it could rotate, but did not start, not by kicking and not by towing. Annie figured that because the engine had run hot without oil and water, maybe the valves got stuck, so she adjusted them. And it started! The endgine does not work very good and the clutch is broken again, but she was on her way. She made some more fixing on the gasket and filled up oil and water at a gas station. Then went on to the the last section of this stage, about 150 km.
The engine has run quite good, Annie rode at only 50-90 km/h to keep the temperature down. Stopped at the last cp 20 km from finish because of overheated engine, filled up oil and waited for cooling. She reached finish as the last biker past midnight, over 15 hours on the way. Stage pos 91 (?).

The stage was shortened by 90 km to 530 km (622 km) because of heavy rain that had destroyed the tracks.


Cool mountains

SVENSKA
Äkta Dakar “Annie style”! Datum den 13e…
– Nu var tävlingen över och äventyret börjar istället. Stor drama idag! Vid km 170 efter wp 5 skar motorn ihop och det blev tvärstopp i maskineriet. Packboxen vid växelföraren hade tryckts ut och all olja runnit ur motorn. Vattnet dessutom dunstat i en rykande varm motor.
“Nu är det slut på årets Dakar”, tänkte Annie och hon la sig i skuggan. Då stannade Merkit Kemal hos henne och sa att göra ett försök. Han skjutsade Annie till några åskådare som hade crosshojar. Hon fick skjuts av dem tillbaka till hojen och tog olja med sig. Annie tryckte tillbaka packbox och säkrade med många buntband. När motorn kylts av gick den runt igen och startförsök gjordes, men motorn vägrade starta trots kickande och bogsering. Eftersom motorn gått varm utan både olja och vatten, tänkte Annie att ventilerna kanske fastnat, så hon justerade dem med stort ventilspel för säkerhets skull. Och motorn hoppade igång! Den går inget vidare och kopplingen har slutat fungera igen, men hon kunde fortsätta! På en bensinstation på transporten lägger hon brickor emellan växelpedal och packbox istället för buntbanden. Toppar upp med olja och vatten och kör till sista etappen för dagen, 150 km från wp8 till mål. Hojen har gått bra, men inte kört mer än 50-90 för att hålla ner värmen. Blev ändå överhettad och måste stanna 20 km från mål och låta kallna. Först efter midnatt äntligen framme som sista motorcykel, totalt över 15 timmar på väg! Etapp placering 91 (?).

Etappen var kortad med 90 km till 530 km pga häftigt regn som förstört spåren.

Thumb brace

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This is the thumb brace I will wear. Feels ok. Looks ok.

thumb brace.

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: youtube.com/watch?v=0QXm0s-WF68

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….”

Below:
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