My race is over

13 January 2009 | 8:00 - By Christophe Barriere-Varju

My race is over. 50km before the end of Stage 8, I went wide into a right hand turn and entered a gutter full of boulder rocks. I managed to slow down but I had to take my left hand off from the handlebar to avoid it being crushed against the rocks.


Unfortunately I still had to use my hand when the bike was nearly stopped to hold myself, and I hurt it. I continued to race the last 50kms in the special and finished 89th hoping it was just a bad strain.

Once at the bivouac I went straight to the medical tent for some x-rays.

Unfortunately, the impact broke my radius in two places and at this stage the doctors are not sure about the scaphoid. The good news is that nothing is out of place. The annoying part is that the breaks are so small but too risky with the scaphoid to continue.

I am of course extremely disappointed in myself for getting injured while riding carefully. But I am more disappointed for my mechanic, Steven Clarke, who will not be able to cross the podium in 2009 with me in Buenos Aires on the 18th and for all the people and SBS viewers that wanted to see Team Rally Australia cross the finish line.

Since the start of the rally we have not had much luck and each day we had some bike issues completely unrelated to each other. This time it is not something than can be fixed overnight.

Sometimes luck is just not on your side and we must accept it. There is always next year and all the physical preparation will not be wasted. Each day during the rally I was able to be physically strong, especially entering the 300-500km mark.

I will continue to update you on the rally and will now show you some of the things that happen behind the scenes.

For now, I want to thank SBS for such a great initiative in covering this year's Dakar Rally and for all the support I received during this event.

The 2009 Dakar is now over for me, but Team Rally Australia will get ready for 2010 and beyond. It is a journey that started a few years ago, and in 2009 we hit a small bump. We will come back stronger next year.

Keep an eye on Team Rally Australia activities for the rest of 2009.


Click here to read Christophe's stage by stage updates

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Comments (17)

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18 Jan 2009 22:20 AEST


From: Flynn

Bummer mate.

Next year?

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16 Jan 2009 14:25 AEST

Simon Lee



MERDE! Je viens de voir sur le site que tu as du abandonner. Bad luck amigo. The spirit of the Freedom Brothers is with you. Looking forward to next year.... a bientot. Simon

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15 Jan 2009 20:27 AEST

John Maragozidis

From: Gawler River South Australia

Tough Luck

Hey buddy, sorry to hear about the DNF with Dakar. I wish I was there with you to help pick up your spirits. Who knows, after my win in the Quad Class at the Australasian Safari, maybe I will get some sponsorship so we can team up for next years Dakar. Will catch up when you get back. John.

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15 Jan 2009 18:48 AEST

Graham Whitehead

From: Narraweena

Time for a cold one

Christophe Now you don't have to worry about the breathaliser you can enjoy the rest of your trip in different way - take care and I'll buy you a cold one when you get back to Sydney! Cheers, Graham

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15 Jan 2009 18:44 AEST

the bennetts

From: anna bay

bad luck boys

christophe & steve we are soory to hear our run over but keep up the good spirts and enjoy the rest of your experience of the dakar see you both when you return home

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15 Jan 2009 0:34 AEST

CBV #205

From: Corlette


Hi Quenton, yes the book is almost ready to be published. Have a look Thank you everyone for all the wishes and comments! CBV

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14 Jan 2009 13:54 AEST


From: Palm Beach

Write a Book

CHRISTOPHE write a book about yourself and other riders who are just trying to FINISH the Dakar. I want to know how the ordinary privateers finish such a race? Every year their story goes untold.

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13 Jan 2009 21:27 AEST


From: Villers-Buzon

C'est la compétition ...c'est la vie...courage ...Apres la pluie le soleil...

Salut Christophe, je viens de voir la photo...Une blessure physique et aussi morale ....j'ai connu ces instants dans le vélo t la course à pied,L'instant de la blessure qui éloigne qui stoppe la course.à cet instant. Tout se mélange dans sa tête à la fois un sentiment d'impuissance et une soif de revanche contre l'infortune. En tous cas Garde le MORAL, tu reviendras sur le Dakar et tu y connaitras, encore beaucoup ,beaucoup de joie et de bonheur et le rêve continueras a vivre

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13 Jan 2009 20:59 AEST


From: Tathra


There's always next year. Shame about the kiss - I was almost looking forward to it and now I'll have to wait another year........have fun with the women. xox

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13 Jan 2009 20:55 AEST

Delwyn and Scott Carter

From: Nelson Bay


Disappointing for you. We feel for you knowing how much effort you put into your preparation. Even though it is probably painful we are glad it is not serious. We look forward to your updates and behind the scenes news. Come home safe. PS. Abby needs more training. She has been disobedient.

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About this Blog

Christophe Barriere-Varju is riding for Team Rally Australia in Dakar 2010. Follow Christophe's story and feel the emotion and inspiration through his blogs for SBS during his South American adventure.

Christophe Barriere-Varju Christophe Barriere-Varju is one of the world's leading off-road motorcycle racers.
He competed in the 2006 and 2007 Dakar Rallies, and is set to take the challenge once again in 2010. Christophe also runs a charity foundation called Dreams Do Come True, which helps others - especially disadvantaged children, achieve their goals. Born in France, raised in West Africa, and completing his education in California, Christophe now resides Down Under and is a rider for Team Rally Australia.