Stage 12: Bisha to Jeddah The 2022 Dakar Rally is over and Sam Sunderland (#3 – GasGas) has won for the second time, five years after he took his first title on a KTM. The last day consisted of a 250 km liaison and then a short 163 km special stage, followed by a 280 […]
Dunes, dunes and more dunes today! Big, small and then HUGE ones according to Vasileios Boudros (#147 – Husqvarna)!!! “I didn’t think they would ever end.” Stage 11, the second last stage of this year’s Dakar, threw a lot of challenges at the riders.
Today’s 760 km journey took the competitors to Bisha, the last stopover before the finish line in Jeddah. The day started very early, the first bike left around 4am. The remaining Nomadas Adventure riders left just after 5am and said it was nice to not be freezing cold in the morning.
Today’s stage was much shorter – a 490 km loop out and back to the bivouac in Wadi Ad Dawasir. A shorter day today meant a later start for Pablo Guillen and Vasileios Boudros, they left just after 7am. And the temperature is warming up so the morning stages aren’t so cold as well!
Stage 8 was the longest day of the 2022 Dakar Rally, 830 km in total. The landscape changed, with a lot of rocky hills and plateaus among the sandy open plains. There were a lot of dunes – big dunes – and the Nomadas Adventure Coca-Cola riders had a mixed day.
Today’s stage was from Riyadh to Al Dawadimi, a total of 710 km with 401 km of special stage. With Andrew Houlihan out of the 2022 Dakar Rally, the Nomadas Adventure Coca-Cola team is now down to 2 riders – Pablo Guillen and Greek rider Vasileios Boudros.
“Thank you all so much for your kind words and support, I will be back stronger and in the best shape ever for Dakar 2023.” The disappointment of being forced out of the 2022 Dakar is still raw, but Andrew Houlihan is determined to be back next year.
“My Dakar came to an end today. Not by my choice. The medical staff and officials will not let me continue due to my rib fractures. Today’s stage started well, but I misjudged a small section with a deep hole. I hit it very hard at high speed and jarred my upper body really bad.”
Stage 4 of the 2022 Dakar Rally was always going to be one of the longest and hardest days of the rally. A total of 707 km with a 465 km special. The route had a mix of sand, soil and dunes and a few rocks and stones towards the end. Andrew says it was also the coldest morning so far.
Stage 3 was modified due to the heavy rain that soaked a part of the region around Al Artawiyah, shortening the special by around one hundred kilometres. The change was a blessing for Andrew Houlihan (#62 – KTM) who is still suffering from yesterday’s high speed crash in the sand.