Houlihan’s Dakar Diary: Stage 12

Andre Houlihan on the Dakar Rally podium stage

Australian Andrew Houlihan is competing in his first Dakar event. Speedcafe.com is proudly one of Houlihan’s sponsors and he will be filing a Dakar Daily Diary for us each day to give readers a real insight into the world’s toughest event.

Andrew Houlihan has overcome adversity to finish the 2021 Dakar Rally in 50th place. After breaking his scaphoid in his right wrist on day 3, he has been riding each day in intense pain and with his wrist heavily strapped.

Today’s diary entry

I wanted something difficult and Dakar delivered.

Over 8,000 km of sand, sand, and more sand with rocks and stones thrown in. Oh, and there were dunes, big level three dunes, and lots of them.

And then there was so much dust at times.

Today was probably the best day and riding conditions.

My air vest was set off at one point today! I had to jump an erosion hole with a drop well over a metre. I landed safely but the impact was enough to set off the vest. It took me about 20 minutes to replace the canister.

I had some good days and some bad days.

I fractured the scaphoid in my right wrist on day three after a fall, and it then became a mental and physical challenge every single day.

Each day I rode with intense pain and with my wrist heavily strapped.

I ended up in 50th place which I’m very happy with, and rolling up on that finisher’s podium was something I’ll never forget. It’s an amazing feeling.

My team-mate Pablo – thank you! Pablo and I rode together a lot during the rally and congratulations on your 48th place.

And how good was that hotel hot shower tonight?

I haven’t been on social media throughout the race and have just seen all the messages.

Thanks to everyone for your support, I’m blown away by how many people were following my progress.

A huge thanks to Alistair Nicoll for coming to Saudi Arabia with me and being there for me through the race. Alistair also compiled the daily report that was published by Motorcycle Life and Speedcafe.com.

Thanks to my rally family, Pablo Guillen, Hernan Samaniego, Tess Escribano, Ashish Raorane, our mechanic Jakob and Santiago our photographer.

Just like previous events I have kept an in-depth daily diary of everything that occurred, I will share this over the next few weeks.

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