Davie's close to big victory

June 16, 2017

Sam Davie during the 2017 Finke Desert Race

Sam Davie collecting his plaque for finishing fifth outright at the 2017 Finke Desert Race

From page 28

‘‘It’s like any skier in the Southern 80 — the race just keeps drawing you back.

‘‘The first year I went just to give it a go and caught the bug.

‘‘This year I was more motivated than ever to bounce back, especially after not finishing, and I’ll probably be back again next year.’’

Davie begins training for the next race three months after completing the one prior, spending 5-6 mornings a week at FITmob Echuca with Shannon Fink and another 2-3 days on the track.

He travels as far as South Australia to find sand to ride on and was flown up twice to Alice Springs by his race team Simford 1800 Weldit Husqvarna to practice on the actual course ahead of this year’s race.

His own bike was a KTM 500 which he expected to race on before being contacted by the Husqvarna race team.

‘‘I was also up there practicing two weeks ahead of the race and by that time I’d become really comfortable on the bike,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s good to get as much training on the track as possible if you want to be competitive.

‘‘The middle of the track is probably the toughest part with about an 80km stretch of whoops and by the end of it everyone is struggling to hold on.

‘‘It’s a roll of the dice every time you ride whether you even finish the race, let alone in a good time.’’

Competitors raced at speeds of up to 170km/h with Davie’s bike maxing out at 185km/h.

He was joined by a race team of 30-plus, his father Rohan, partner Alysha Gill and a family friend — his mother Glenis refusing to watch him race again after his last accident.

It was also an expensive race to enter, setting riders back upwards of $15,000 without the costs of the bikes.

Simford had covered most of the costs and sponsors Echuca Bearings, MRT Automotive and Riverina Belting had also helped in preparations.

Davie usually entered the Hattah Desert Race in July, but would miss 2017 for a wedding in Bali giving his body a well-deserved rest following 452km of torture.

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