Raceday 5 Nefta – Douz:
Yesterday was nice but my mind way messed up all night from exhaustion. Slept about 2 hours, the rest I was racing on sandy track or turning away from my rib, or coughing my lungs out. Got on the start line at 8:01 in second line and that felt good. Just cruised the day with Morgan and got to the scary ravine, a crazy steep rocky trail where you didn’t want to tip over. One guy of course did, who I later found out was George Dennison, who were in the same team as us 2008. He did a beautiful front flip down and landed ok in gravel. I tried to yell down to him to go down, where I saw a trail leading back, but he later told me they lifted it back up. Glad to hear he was ok anyway. The day felt long, but went without problems. A few high-speed roads where pretty bad, I couldn’t sit down, the vibrations through my rib was too much and standing up driving against the wind was too hard on me (have to work out more). At least I thought my fever had gone down. Got in tired and changed to the MX-tire again. No bike problems and the Zebra runs great.
Ready to start
Raceday 6 Douz – Douz
This day was the same as the old Merzouga round-day, which means long and hard special stage with too long between fuel stops and my favorite. Stefan in my team broke his Odometer and said he would stick close to me all day and that’s ok, he’s not ashamed of the throttle. The day started with a sand storm, riding in difficult dunes with the wind, which made the motor run hot. I had to choose between breathing through my buff to avoid coughing all the time, or being able to drink. Got lost after the first fuel stop and almost got my bike run over by a backing race truck. Begged for food at a radio tower but we rode well all the time. The day looked like a site-seeing tour, riding in every imaginable desert environment and really different. It was at the second fuel stop Hasse in my team told us we were 45 minutes behind Morgan. Wait a minute. It was here I realized I had blown it. It felt like the whole week had been a struggle for survival. I hadn’t even checked my scores, since it’s endurance and determination that wins these competitions and I’m struggling. I don’t know where or when this slipped through my fingers, but it sucks to be sick and stubborn at the same time. We continued and didn’t lose any more time. Rainer, the rally chief came and reminded me I’m close to the hall of fame. This is when you complete 3 perfect Tuareg rallies, no penalties and no time added, all check points cleared etc. That made my day, which I would love to do again.
Really cool day, no 6.
Raceday 7 Sand race:
Last day I finally felt somewhat ok, except coughing. A short special around Douz. Morgan, Stefan and I stayed together and in the leading group all day. It took less than 2 hours and suddenly the whole week was over, just when I started to use my right hand. A quick dune race with another Le Mans start finished the competition. We took some team photos and had a beer at the Hotel entry. Germans like burn-outs and always brings wood planks and with a Zebra bike, it’s easy to mill down a sand tire in 6:th gear. I finished 5:th and got in the hall of fame, together with George Dennison, the FMX-rider. Party as usual, the organization showed us how to do it and the riders were a little bit worn… I stayed up as long as I could.
George Dennison and I made the hall of fame.
The trip home was boring. I was tired and disappointed, but at the same time proud for being able to push myself more than I thought and I’m not scared of doing that until blacking out. But as the week passed I became pissed off. I wanted to start over and be out there again. I thought a lot on what’s next? I WAS in the Dakar last year as a mechanic for Ronnie Bodinger. I wonder where his bike is….
Tired and happy.
Wesley Beane: Thank you and rest in peace.
To be continued.
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Photos without name: Jenny Morgan