Triumphant return

Tuesday, 17th April, 2012

BACK IN ACTION: Callum Dodimead has overcome an 11-month layoff with injury to take out the King of the Murray Stadium Cross event. BACK IN ACTION: Callum Dodimead has overcome an 11-month layoff with injury to take out the King of the Murray Stadium Cross event.

By Darrin Manuel

Motocross legend Danny Chandler once said “If you don’t crash once in a while, you’re not going fast enough.”

It’s fair to say Chandler would have been a big fan of junior racer Callum Dodimead.

Callum has bounced back from a horrific injury sustained after blitzing the competition at last year’s Easter Arenacross event in Mildura.

The 14 year-old came off his bike as he was crossing the finish line in first place, breaking his ankle in three places.

What followed was months of treatment and rehabilitation as Callum battled to get back into racing.

“There’s been a lot of visits to doctors trying to rebuild the ankle, it was a pretty bad break,” said his father, Dale.

“It was a bit of a struggle to get it straight, it’s been recast a few times.”

After 11 months on the sidelines Callum was able to get back onto his KTM motorbike, and promptly took out first place in his return to racing.

Callum rode in the King Of The Murray Stadium Cross as part of the recent 2012 Easter Power Sports weekend in Mildura, and put in a dominant display to take out the 85cc class.

The event consisted of three rounds of competition totalling 15 races, and Callum breezed though the final two stages undefeated.

“There was about 2000 people watching, it was a pretty big crowd,” said Dale.

“It’s the only event in Victoria over Easter, so it’s a pretty prestigious one to win - winning any open event in Victoria is pretty special really.

“There were a lot of good, fast kids down there and none of them could get anywhere near him.”

It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Callum however - his motor blew up during the second stage of competition in Renmark, threatening his chance at victory.

Thankfully he received some expert help from Rob’s Dirtbikes who built him a new motorcycle, along with some extra assistance from Grenfell Fabrication and Maintenance.

“It was a pretty big effort for them to build him a bike so quickly, without these sponsors we wouldn’t have been able to race at all.”

Callum also competed against much older riders in the 150cc class, and managed creditable finishes of second, fourth and sixth before he crashed and had a competitor “run over his head.”

Despite the setback he escaped the meeting uninjured, and said he was overjoyed just to be racing again.

“Things are definitely a lot better now, there’s just nothing to do when I’m not riding,” he said.