Should I stay or should I go?
Dakar 2023 |
Stage 1 |
> AL HENAKIYAH
January 1 st 2023 - 21:21 [GMT + 3]
Dakar rookie Lois d'Abbadie is caught in a nightmare scenario after a crash that threatens to knock him out of the race. His broken collarbone is torturing him, but perhaps he can clench his teeth through it all.
Lois d'Abbadie was happily cruising through his first Dakar stage ever when a crash 102 kilometres into the special brought all his plans tumbling down. The man from Réunion was not being too rash, but the tracks of the Dakar are fraught with hidden dangers: "I was on a rather fast track when disaster struck. I was on the right trajectory, but I hit a bush on the left side and was thrown off my bike. As I was getting up, I felt an excruciating pain in my shoulder, but I hoped it was just a little dislocation". Hoping for the best, the wobbly man from the islands called upon the medical service, who treated him and gave him some encouragement. "They strapped me up with some duct tape so I could keep going for a bit. A helicopter kept tabs on me and, when I got to the next CH, the medical team advised me to take the road back to the bivouac."
The situation took a turn for the worse at the medical centre, following a more exhaustive work-up: "The results from the X-rays came back and it turned out I'd broken my collarbone. No-one said I have to go home, but I need to weigh the pros and cons. It's a dilemma between continuing the challenge to stay in the race for a couple more days and taking care of my shoulder. It might do me some good, but if I have to tackle the dunes of the Empty Quarter, for example, I won't be able to lift my bike on my own, so I've still got to decide whether I'll take the start tomorrow morning".
Nomade Racing Team boasts a small contingent of entrants from Réunion. Lois is here with two brothers in arms, his childhood friend Rodolphe De Palmas and his neighbour Stéphane Hamard, who has seven Dakar starts under his belt. Each of his two pals answers differently when queried about their friend's odds of continuing the adventure. "He's my best buddy… But I just can't see it happening", says a glum Rodolphe. "I did 180 km with a broken collarbone in Madagascar once, but I had no choice. I know what it is like and I wouldn't wish it upon him." Nursing his shoulder, Lois thanks his friend for his wise words, but his hopes are also buoyed a little by the upbeat assessment of Stéphane, the most experienced member of the gang: "Lois and I come from the same village. Tomorrow, he needs to try and start and it'll only get better from there. We didn't travel 10,000 km for nothing, so it's worth a try. I've got a good feeling about it. And if he gets going, he won't stop until the finish. He's super fit and better prepared than any of us". Their differing opinions have not helped Lois make up his mind yet. "I need to sleep on it", he concludes.