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Battered and bruised but still placed sixth

Battered and bruised but still placed sixth

Mr Ivan Long, of Tanunda, broke his hand in the National Finke Desert Race, coming off his bike at 140km/h but was still able to place sixth outright and third in his class.

In the second leg of the race, Ivan attempted to put more pressure on the second placed rider and hit a square edged bump.

Ivan said, “I ended up cartwheeling down the track. I picked myself up and rode to the next checkpoint.

“They gave me my options, either wait for the medics or ride on home. So I ended up racing to the finish line.

“This was actually the first bone I have ever broken; the pain was out of this world. Problem was that I hadn’t even gone through the roughest part of the track yet.”

Ivan broke the third and fourth metacarpals in his right hand, which also happened to be his throttle hand.

On June 16, Ivan had corrective surgery to fix the damage, which involved getting six screws in his hand and removing bits of bone that was floating around.

“The two bones were broken in my hand and that was pushing back on my wrist. But I am ambitious. If I broke my arm, I still would have tried to finish the race,” said Ivan.

Ivan was disappointed at the injury, since he was aiming for first place this year after successful past placements and was looking in good form.

In 2011, he finished 14th in the race, in 2012 he placed 35th after a flat tyre, in 2013 he just made it into the top five taking out fifth place and in 2014 he won third place.

“When things go wrong, they go really wrong. It’s about pushing through the pain and anxiety levels. I pushed as hard as I could.

“I have seen people come out of this race a lot worse than I did. It was unexplainable how painful my injury was.

“The only way to cope was to let it out by screaming the way home to the finish line,” said Ivan.

For the full story see this week’s edition of The Leader.