Antoine Meo is heading under the surgeon’s knife to repair both of his hands injured in a crash on the penultimate stage of the Dakar Rally.
Despite ending the Dakar Rally in a remarkable seventh overall, along with two stage wins, scans have shown considerable damage to his hands following the fall.
With the diagnosis revealing a fractured scaphoid in his left hand and dislocated carpus in his right hand, Meo has undergone surgery to repair the damage done.
“The scaphoid on my left hand is fractured and I’ve also dislocated the carpus of my right hand big time,” told Meo.
“The operation on my left hand will take place on Tuesday and on the right hand on Wednesday.”
Crashing within 40 kilometres of completing the penultimate stage of the rally, due to a worn out tyre following the previous 480 kilometre stage, Meo heroically gritted out a painfully tough final stage of 180 kilometres to ensure a top ten result at his first attempt.
“I crashed 40 kilometres before the finish of the penultimate stage,” explained Meo. “It came in a flowing part of the test. There was a really tight blind corner that wasn’t described in the road book.
“The worn-out rear tyre slipped, I hit a rock with the rear wheel and got thrown over the bars. It’s not that I was waiting for Toby that caused it - it’s just the laws of the Dakar.
Disappointed to miss out on a potential podium result, and pushing through the pain barrier with two broken hands, Meo was relieved and happy to see the finish line in Rosario, Argentina.
“The final day’s 180 kilometre special was the longest of my life. But I didn’t want to throw in the towel so close to the finish line. I’m both happy and relieved to have finished this Dakar.
“I’d like to whole heartedly thank everyone all for the support and encouragement throughout this Dakar. I want to thank all the members of my team and my sponsors for supporting me in this adventure.”
Speedy recovery Antoine…
Photos: C. Barni, F. Duhamel & M. Maragni/Red Bull Content Pool