24-year old Daymon Stokie rode through the pain of a broken hand to win the 2017 Gascoyne Dash held in remote and rugged Western Australian countryside over the weekend.
Mounted on a Yamaha, Stokie endured not only the tough nature of the 400km course that runs across desert, dry river beds and high speed sections in a continuous 7km loop, but also a broken hand suffered during the course of the event.
Saturday saw the field roar off into the wilderness to cover the 200kilometres set out for the day. Stokie was in good form and had a trouble-free run to claim the day win and hold a one minute advantage heading into day two.
But it wasn’t long into the second day when Stokie fell awkwardly and injured his hand. With just 10 kilometres covered, Stokie still had nearly 200ks to race and a hand that was not in a good shape. But in a true test of toughness, Stokie battled on and tried to protect his lead from day one.
Things become extremely tense in the closing stages as his nearest rival, Cody Upton, mounted one last charge as the pair entered the final few kilometres. In the end, Stokie stopped the clock at 3.41:50 just four seconds ahead of Upton with a 3.41:54 in one of the closest finishes to the gruelling event.
“I’m glad that is over,” said a relieved Stokie. “I knew Cody was coming and I just tried to keep calm and hold my position but things were pretty intense inside my helmet.
“My hand was swollen and sore and I tried to just put it out of my mind but every time I hit a decent bump or hole, it jarred through my body so it was just as much relief as it was joy to cross the finish line. Winning it was almost a bonus but I’m glad I toughed it out and won.
“The is a unique event and with thanks to the Active8 Yamaha team as well as Scope Building back in Alice Springs, it was made much easier for me. Also, a huge thank you to event organisers as arranging desert and adventure events is a lot of work and again they have done a great job,” Stokie ends.
Stokie will now be sidelined for the next six weeks while he recovers from his hand injury and will be back on the start line for the Finke and Hattah under the Active8 Yamaha banner.