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Hagenblad 02-16-2014 08:08 AM

DaCarl blog - Dakar 2015
Hello all.

Since my racing friends Team Berglund brothers from Sweden already started a thread here on the same topic I cannot be any less, so here's my own thread. First of all, to let you know the background you have to take 10 min to read the prelude, I'll link you back to this page again.

Click here:


Hagenblad 02-16-2014 08:36 AM

So, long story short:
I made up my mind, sold my XC4 530 and bought Bodinger's (Dakar 2011, 2012) 450 FE, sold all my basement clutter, designed and sold a whole bunch of t-shirts. I can ride, navigate, fix almost everything, and a whole bunch of people are expecting this to happen. No turning back, I'm going for it!

With me I have Mattias Karlsson, the owner of the Swedish service truck, and mechanic David Åkerskog. We have teamed up with Brittish Torque racing (Martin Wittering, Donna Grey and John Mitchinson) and are now trying to forfill our common Dakar-dream.

This thread is about the underdog, me and anyone like me, jumping into the unknown, -all in, and who doesn't like that?


Hagenblad 02-16-2014 09:05 AM

Since I've made up my mind, I've pulled the bike apart and rebuilt it. This I've already done once, as mechanic for Ronnie Bodinger in the Dakar 2012. Husaberg is a dead brand now, but I know this bike inside out. I also Speced this motor, and two more with Husaberg factory team, so there's nothing on this bike I don'r know about. This fall David and I upgraded a lot of parts and serviced it completely. I'ts now white (zebra-stripes are coming) and works like a charm in the snow. I see no problem with the bike.

The only big issue is money for me. Usually, when competing I start off in the middle of the pack, and climb up the resultslist as the days go. After a few days I'm in the top fighting, and then the race is over. That's why I always wonder, what if the race is longer? Like in the Dakar... Anyway I don't have the money for this, but that is a lame excuse not to follow your dreams, so I made a plan. First of all I have the SOS-truck (Mattias Karlsson) for free, and also mechanic David. The bike I pretty much traded straight for my XC4, and I also have a spare FE450 and two friends are lending me their FE450's for the race. The KTM dealer here also lends med parts foir the race, so bike and parts are pretty much sorted.
I started a website, or actually I got another friend (Stefan Wikström) to start it, and I blog (DaCarl blog) in Swedish: Then started an English blog on my company facebook page, and a presentation as PDF to get sponsors, which in Sweden is almost as difficult as creating fusion power. Since I've already is a known offroad-racer in Sweden I designed a t-shirt, a really expenvice one, and THAT has sold really well. I will concentrate to get some companies with me during the spring. Know anyone?
The plan now is to make some adjustment to the bike, gain 5 kg, and try to find funds for this. Right know I'm half-way there.

In may the ASO opens the registration, and I will be the first one sending in the papers. What could possibly go wrong?

/Carl the Zebra Swed

Deadly99 02-16-2014 09:52 AM

Awesome, best of luck :pynd

beechum1 02-16-2014 12:25 PM

In. :lurk. Where do we go from here?

Hagenblad 04-02-2014 01:59 AM

So, Me and Mattias the truck owner went down to Tunisia and the Tuareg rallye. Together with Torque racing we serviced bikes and riders all week, with plenty of different jobs on and around the bikes. In my opinion, this collaboration went great with no hickups and all smiling faces. Impressed by the team that took the service one notch over our usual Swedish standard. Until now we've worked without mechanics, and shared the work in the team. We have a system that takes care of noobs, the team manager is always a different person than last year, and ideas like that. As I understand this isn't anywhere else, but I created the concept for the Tuareg rallye 2010 and now We've done about 10 rallyes abroad using this concept. The idea is to teach everyone to do this, and the racing in Sweden is growing, creating business like this and good for the sport in my opinion.

Anyway, I had a blast and the week passed in a flash. We had time for photo shooots, filming with helmet cam and I even rode the last day when Swedish rider Stefan hurt himself the day before, and there was no fueling the last day (finished 3rd). You can read the team story that Jenny wrote in the Tuareg thread:

Hagenblad 04-02-2014 02:18 AM

So, I got back to Sweden and build me a new Zebra bike. This is the spare part bike for the Dakar Zebra, a Husaberg 450 -12 and as the other one, speced by be and working like a charm. I spent about the same time on service, build and test run as on the rear tank, which was a pain in the ass to get right. I also helped my wife Anna, who also races the Hellas, to build her KTM 350 (without stripes). This weekend we had a shake-down in Kalmar, with motocross on saturday, bike-fiddling, beer, and a 200 km roadbook race on Sunday. Test was good, and only minor things to fix. Now the bikes and rallye boxes is in the Kalmar parc farme, waiting for transport to Greece. Looking forward to race :-)

So, see you at the start line.

/Carl the Zebra Swede


JMo (& piglet) 04-03-2014 01:21 AM

This is going to be epic!


Hagenblad 04-03-2014 02:02 AM


Originally Posted by JMo (& piglet) (Post 23844880)
This is going to be epic!


Almost an epic failure at yesterdays practice. Chased one of the young guns at my MX-track and crashed. Got dizzy and hurt my thumb, so I gave up for the day. Would be perfect to have a broken bone right about now... Right Keith?

Anyway, I'll show that punk after the Hellas, when my bones isn't worth more than the satisfaction. Until then I'll stick to my own pace. :-)

Happe 04-03-2014 02:11 AM

subscribed :lurk

Hagenblad 04-17-2014 11:24 AM

Hellas rally is in Greece right? Albania rally starts 4 weeks after. Maybe we can get this to work.... I know Henrik Rahm is up for it....

What do you think?

Happe 04-17-2014 06:14 PM

go for it!
And then go for the second Lc4-50 Bike ;-)

chasbo 04-17-2014 11:07 PM

In! I hope it all comes together and you get to live your dream!:clap

c.vestal 04-19-2014 02:37 PM


Hagenblad 07-03-2014 05:14 AM

Think I'll write a few lines about the Rally Albania 2014.

If you're not aware, I'm aiming for the Dakar 2015, and wasn't planning for any expensive competitions outside of Sweden. Still I went as a mechnic in the Tuareg rally working with what we hope is our working Dakar team (read the story in it's own tread), then a friend of mine said they sponsor me to the Hellas rally, with entry fee and transport, and I had to go. That rally went fine and wasn't so hard to do for me. I thought that all that training was paying off and was pretty happy about the whole thing. The Dutch guy transporting our stuff said he had a new idea. He said he had a warehouse in Tirana, so why don't we enter rally Albania also. I said, let's go, and went home and ordered a new plane ticket. I Also convinced Polytimi from Greece to come with us. A norwegian team had space on a trailer to get my stuff back afterwards, and the parts I needed I also got. No excuses left.

So, I flew alone to Tirana one month later and met the other guys. Fixed my bike (gear shift axle, suspension, tires and service), and loaded the team bivouac stuff in a trailer and hooked that to Vladimir's (Team Norway) service van.

From my facebook blog

DaCarl blog @ Rally Albania

The flight was boring as hell and I couldn't sleep. Jonatan met me and I found my zebra and a pizza. Fixed bikes and sorted stuff. Went to the bivouac and found the Norway dream team. Vlado had a impact wrench and I finally changed my twisted gear shifter axle. Then to the original suspension. A big load of my mind. Dinner with the Dutch and Katalina, who's apartment we stay in. Writing this going to sleep on the balcony. Good night.

Day 1: Short prologue down a river, just to set the starting order for the second day. Hot and as usual the first day, unconfortable. Pretty good time anyway, and it was fun. Loaded the trailer.

Day 2: arrived at the first special with 30 min to spare. 3h20 so it took a while with tight navigation and lots of everything. Didn't notice my end time and drove to the next special in one go. There i just started and drove pretty much by myself all day. Ended at 6:th place, which I've never managed to do before this early in a rally. A beer and food and I'm off to bed.

Day 3 was AWESOME! Worst "roads" I've ever seen and that's perfect. Motor started bleeding from my pressure sensor and I borrowed an oil bottle just to feel safe. Easy navigation but a hundred really cool places. When done I wanted to turn the roadbook upside down and do it all again. Lots of crashes today and 3/5 of the team is hurt now. Polytimi has a busted rib, but will start over tomorrow, Pieter cut his arm and had to sew it 22 stitches, and might start over, but Gersom smashed a car head on and the bike is dead. He's also hurt and joins Vladimir in the service van tomorrow. So a tough day for sure, but in all this chaos I had a blast. Longer day of over 500 km tomorrow and I start at 5:30 zzzzz.

Day 4: We're moving again and another long day. First special went ok and then a long liason. The second I chased Massimo, who I raced in Hellas. In a steap mudroad I took it slow, but lost control and fell over the handlebars. Ok until the bike flipped and landed on my shoulder. Took a while to get loose, and i ate some painkillers at the next fuel stop. Hurt so bad I had to ride on first gear. Stopped again and ate a stronger pill and after en hour I could move a little faster. 14 h on the bike and I can't use the arm. Interesting. ..

Day 5: It wasn't easy at all to sleep but I woke up much better. Still painful and I can't use it but still much more than yesterday. Short day up a mountain today, and I stuffed myself with 3 different painkillers and went drunk to the start. I was able to stand again and took off fast. Lost after only minutes and drove around until I found the way. Got there with 7 other riders and no other showed up. Got a hole in my engine so I had to fix that on site. Drove down and found the rest of the rally in the bivouac, with the whole stage cancelled. Turned out the elite got lost, called the organisation which cancelled the stage. Hmmmm.
Drove back pissed off with a busted motor and on drugs, for what?
The good news is that my axle gets better by the hour and with those pills I'll be pushing again tomorrow.

Day 6: was one of the strangest race days ever. I start work early and passed all in front of me but one and then find a guy crashed of the side of a cliff side. Found him ok then crashed myself one minute after. Trip and remote gone and the roadbook had an axle broken off. It worked only if I also hand-cranked it.Did a pretty good time anyway. Got to the second special and drove by myself counting kilometers. Got lost, found the elite guys driving around in circles, and went my own way. Folowed some finns, and boiled my rear brake. Stopped and fixed that and continued alone again. In total 60 km race counting the distance and still made it to the finish before some much faster riders. Followed Jonathan the next liason and started the last special chasing Massimo, who knows how to navigate. It was an insane ride spot on navigation and we stood a long time waiting for the elite, which never showed up. Meanwhile, Ondrei the leader of the race also went off a cliff and lost a lot of time. Found out later my tracker also broke during the day. So, if I'm not mistaken, I go up the list even without navigation equipment. A very expensive and strange day. My shoulder works somewhat again but my foot is now the problem. And I worried about holes in the motor....
Anyway, everything is mended and tomorrow we start over.

Good night. Calle

Day 7. Still the strange day 6 haunts me. The tracker showed me speeding and then broke down. Got a penalty and started late, and drove almost perfect, landing in 3:rd place today. The penalty didn't really change the total result of 7:th overall. Got back, loaded the zebra on the Norwegian trailer and got to the ceremony. The top ten crashing team all got to the finish line. So, a very different and strange rally, but I had a lot of fun and made new friends. more pics later, I'll sleep now for 2 h.

At home again after a boring flight back. I started rally Albania with the intention of pushing harder. I did and had some great results amongst great riders. I also had a couple of problems I solved on the fly, like navigation without equipment, boiled brakes and even got my ass kicked by my own bike. A good practice for the Dakar for sure. I will now start marketing the Dakar dream more and compete closer to home.

Thanks a lot Jonathan, Gersom, Pieter and Polytimi. I had a great time.

Also thanks to all crew of Rally Albania and all riders. A pleasure.

Norwegian team for letting us join you and Vlado who's getting my stuff back home.

Carl the zebra Swede

Now, a week after the shoulder is much better and i can use it again. The foot is ok, but to make things more interesting I also got a cold from a guy I shared taxi with. Anyway, as I started this post, I thought it was my training that made Hellas a relatively easy rally, but I was wrong. Albania is hard. The roads are broken, sometimes completely, the navigation is more difficult, even if the roadbooks are perfect, it's just more rough. Therefore I loved it. I promised I would return in 2012, and that I do now again.

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