James Hillier has confirmed he is riding with a dislocated collarbone despite taking on the most intense level of the Dakar Rally.
Hillier proved he is never one to shy away from a challenge after deciding his rookie venture in the Dakar would be as part of the assistance-free Original by Motul, ‘Malle Moto’ class - 15 days traversing the Saudi Arabian desert apparently not quite enough of a challenge!
The 37-year-old is currently enjoying a ‘rest day’. However, while there is no riding on Monday, the maintenance of his Rich Energy OMG GasGas 450 Rally is solely his responsibility. The Hampshire-based IOM TT rider sits 84th in the standings with six days left of competition after incurring a hefty penalty and the on-going complications from a shoulder injury as the first week drew to a close.
“Those who have been watching the results or times etc, I've had to go a bit slower,” Hillier explained from the end of Sunday's stage eight. “On stage five, 100 kilometres from the end of the stage, I crashed - a small crash but landed bad on my shoulder and convinced I'd broken my collarbone.
“I finished the stage, 100 kilometres to the end, could feel the bone moving and I genuinely thought it was bust and it was the rally over because it was so painful - like I was in tears riding back.
“I made the mistake of getting in the ambulance from the end of the stage back to the Bivouac and that's given me a big six hour penalty but anyway, I went back, got an x ray and turns out, I don't know the medical term but my collarbone is dislocated from where it meets the shoulder. The doctor said it was alright for me to ride if I could, he said it's not broke. So they strapped me up and give me some tablets and I've done two good days riding now - I just have to go slow. I can’t… it hurts! I can feel it, a lot but we can get to the end and that is the goal.
“It's a rest day tomorrow, well they call it a rest day but it's a non riding day. I've got work to do on the bike, give it a good service and look over really. It's been good so far and I want to try and keep it that way.
“So sort of a day off tomorrow. Reset and go again for the last bit. We’re well over halfway now, so nearly there. Just got to keep going.
“I honestly haven't had much time to look at any messages and stuff. I know there's a lot so I will get back to you. But the support, I believe, is pretty overwhelming and it's definitely driving me so thank you everyone for the support. I'll keep doing my best and get to that finish line.”