Houlihan’s Dakar Diary: Rest day

Andrew Houlihan. Picture: Julien Delfosse/DPPI

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

After the disappointment of being forced out of the 2022 Dakar, Andrew Houlihan has already announced he will be back for 2023. Today’s rest day has given him and the rest of the Nomadas Adventure team a chance to recover a bit from the last six intense days of racing and prepare for the final onslaught.

CLICK HERE to see the x-ray of Houlihan’s broken ribs

Today’s diary entry

Firstly, thank you all so much for the kind words and support we’ve received after yesterday’s news. I will be back stronger and in the best shape ever for Dakar 2023.

After yesterday’s stage was cancelled after the first 100km, everyone enjoyed an extra half day of rest. There is some controversy in the bivouac regarding the cancellation; some riders are disagreeing with the decision and others agreeing.

Our Nomadas Adventure is now down to two riders, Pablo Guillen (#35 KTM) and Greek rider Vasileios Boudros (#147 Husqvarna).

Antonio Guillen (#111 KTM) crashed heavily on Day 2 and was airlifted back to the bivouac with broken ribs, and I will now travel with Antonio, Katie, Tess and Hernan in the van.

We left the bivouac for some luxury at Radisson Riyadh Hotel for the rest day.

The mechanics have spent last night and today completely stripping and rebuilding the two remaining bikes for the second half of the race.

It became apparent today that my injuries are not what I thought, and that the Dakar officials did indeed make the correct decision in taking me out of the race.

I’m in quite a bit of discomfort and continuing in the race would have ended very badly for me.

I will now enjoy helping our team at the bivouacs and hopefully get the chance to catch up with a lot of the other riders and teams, and give everyone a better insight into what happens whilst the competitors are out in the desert.

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