"Why am I here?"
800 km, six hours to repair the bike and a final day in the rain: it was the marathon stage Jordi Viladoms
"I ask for another day off!" Exclaims Jordi Viladoms on his return to the bivouac. It is the resting phase and the Dakar caravan has made stops in Tucumán is a perfect opportunity to take advantage of the amenities of a hotel. More if one has slept only three hours last night, more if two days before the stage lasted for 23 hours. As happened to him. "I slept 10 hours and would slep another 10, I'm exhausted," he concedes.
To exit at the next stage, that of day 12, which takes you to Tucumán, Viladoms experienced its longest stage of the Dakar, "the first in the ranking," he says, even though only two years ago he was lost in the desert, with the front of his bike destroyed without logbook, or GPS, and completed over 400 kilometers blindly.
This time, the bike began to fail very soon because yesterday thought they had broken the injection - and in fact it was an electrical fault; he moved from 5th place overall at the 18th. Depending on how you played the bike, this worked, so the problem remained unsolved. And his Husqvarna continued failing. He was pulling as he could, to no more than 70 kilometers per hour, so the step to cross the Andes was complicated: "The more time you spend, the more notes the effects of altitude sickness. And I had to stop because I was sleeping, "he recalls, also found on the way the place of the crash that killed Thomas Bourgin. "When I arrived right on the border and stopped to get my passport, the bike completely stopped," he adds. He had an injection parts, so believing that this was the problem, changed. "And the bike started. Too bad, because I thought I had solved ". Again.
At 40 kilometers of special the machine stopped again. "That's when I realized it was something serious," he recalls. And changed all the parts I had on me, which was a lot, because it was a stage that would not have assists. "Once started, then I got dressed, put on my helmet, ride 100 meters and became to stop." We found two policemen and two soldiers, who had a checkpoint near a church closed, and settled there with the family of one of these. He managed to make one kilometer and stopped again. Retested all parts. "And when he had been there an hour alone, I came back with "my little family", dragging the bike gradually exhausted because we were still at a high altitude." The satellite was not working, had no phone. Cars went by doctors and stopped to ask if I quit. No. That was always the answer. As the last passed still had about three hours to fix the bike.
In his makeshift workshop spent more than six hours. He sat, looked her up and down, I thought I could fail and get up to try. Thus again and again. It also gave him time to think, "What am I doing here, a team assembled in less than a month? What will I do if I leave, I'll take the Dakar caravan or come home? Too bad after all that we have suffered to get here! ". So, could make an emergency call: "Play all cables must be an electrical problem." They had gone off, doctors, policemen and , and he just stood there, armed with patience, began to play cables. Until he found. Just looked, it was damaged. There was not enough wire to make a connection. But he managed to fix it. It was after seven in the evening when dressed again, and slipped the helmet. It was about 3,500 meters in a valley surrounded by mountains, more brown than green, it was cool, and took his march.
His bike was working, but the problems were not over. At 60 km special finish a organizing car stopped him to insist that he could not continue and complete the link: it was raining a lot, would soon night and was dangerous. Yes, it was dark, and it rained a great time, but especially Viladoms completed. "What was the others for sand and dust, for me it was mud." A car waited for him at the end of the special. Do not let him make bond, but after such a demonstration of survival had organized an entire device to complete the stage. He was cold and soaked, 1 hour 30 in the night, but he made.
At Cachi, where the rest of motards were, gave all missing. He slept three hours. And when he appeared at the start of the special the next day, after another 300 km link, no one could believe it. He received hugs left and right. And step 750 completed: kilometers again. "I think just the adrenaline of knowing that could stay in the race kept my body alert those two days." Today is the 90th, 7 hours and 48 minutes of the first. But you can still get to Santiago.
NOW HE CAN'T
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