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D16 – The mood of the peloton

28.04.2024 - The Sun Trip
The Sun Trip The Sun Trip

DAY 17 <-> DAY 15

The adventure is in full swing, the performances and the beautiful landscapes are there, but so are the hassles and disappointments. That’s the lot of great adventures. Today’s summary will try to give you the pulse of a tired peloton, with the reactions of some of the participants.

The main news on this 16th day begins with the arrival of Kilian and Jonas in Taroudant.

The young German duo, 3rd but 4 days behind the two leaders, admits that they are having trouble finding their feet in Morocco. In particular, they don’t feel at ease even in the bivouacs, and the last night they spent in the valley hit by the earthquake in September 2023 was a shock for them. At the age of 19, they are experiencing the discovery of a new world. Their enthusiasm and energy will certainly enable them to find solutions for the rest of the Moroccan loop. In the meantime, they have a 24-hour break in Taroudant.

At the front of the race, a double battle is being waged. Firstly, from a sporting point of view, with different route strategies for everyone and less favourable weather forecasts for the days ahead. For the moment, it’s impossible to say who will come out on top at the next checkpoint, but it’s not impossible that something dramatic could happen.

The duel is also being played out on a regulatory level, with Jean-Marc Dubouloz appealing against the jury’s decision of the previous day. This appeal was rejected because it was ruled out in principle by article 11.3 of our adventure rules. However, the jury said it would be open to finding solutions to any new requests concerning the situation of Jean-Marc, whose panel was damaged in the collision with Jack.

Jack slept this evening at altitude, after crossing a pass at 2600 metres. It’s already very cold and the forecast is even for a little snow above 2000m: “I’ll be wearing all the clothes I have and I’ve even bought a pair of children’s gloves in the village where I’m staying. I’ve still got some battery power left after the climb and I’m at high altitude, so it should be a good day for me tomorrow”.

Géry and Baudouin, currently in 5th place, are not in the best of spirits:

“We’re in the middle of a curtain of cloud and rain. We’ve had snow in the Pyrenees, and the Tizi n’test pass may be in the rain. Tomorrow we have 115km of climbing and not much left in the batteries. We’re going to climb with very low fuel consumption… it’ll take as long as it takes, and if necessary we’ll stop before the summit for the night. It’s hard on the morale to see that the weather is fine within a day and that the sun is shining both in front and behind us… but, as in a reference, it’s a race and anything can happen…”

For Richard Defay, 6th, the start of his adventure in Morocco, in the rain, was difficult:

The day seemed terrible. There were torrents of water pouring down on my head and the roads were quite dangerous. The traffic was pretty dangerous, so I didn’t have much time to recharge my muscles, which meant I was very tired. Fortunately, the bike is still reliable, and for the moment I don’t like what I’ve seen of Morocco. I want to see the desert, so I’m sticking to my guns and pedalling to my heart’s content, with no other goal than to finish the loop by 24 May… I’m amazed at myself that I’ve been able to rack up all these days and distances”.

For Herman Segers, still rather discreet in his communications, but back in 7th place:

“I’m doing well, I was happy to meet up with the others in Tangier after a stressful afternoon trying to get my phone to work with the new SIM card. For tomorrow, I’m going to see what the weather has in store for us. Following the coast, the weather was much better today, which is why I headed in that direction. I covered the distance with just one battery and for tomorrow I can use the other one and see where I am”.”.

Pictures of the day

For Vincent Gallego, 10th, riding with Luciano Trumpler:

“A bit disappointed at all the time lost due to technical problems (Luciano’s shock absorber a few days ago and then the parallelism of my front wheels which destroyed my 2 tyres in half a day!) but fortunately Youssef explained how to sort it out and I even got 2 new tyres! So, a short stage today, as far as Larache, with lots of positive gestures from all the people who overtake or pass us. Tomorrow we’ll checkpoint n-3 and then aim to reach the bottom of the pass with full batteries and tyres in good condition! I took the opportunity to lighten my load by leaving 2 panniers with Youssef (including the 3 GPS units). We’ll get them back at the end of our Moroccan loop”.

For Vincent Lauga, it’s another night in Spain and a few problems:

“Today: 124km. I rejoiced a bit too quickly, I won’t be in Morocco tonight! Just because I was in the ferry queue behind some cars (more than 30 minutes early for departure)… doesn’t mean I’ve left! Big disappointment: ferry full. They sell you the ticket, make you wait behind the cars… not all the cars get in and then it’s too late! Next ferry tomorrow morning 7am… “. 

In last place, Miguel Letor announces a break in his adventure from today, as agreed with the organisation when he signed up:

Now I’m at home, in the family house in Portugal, a few kilometres from the second checkpoint, the Cabot Espichel. I’m stopping for about ten days because I’m attending the wedding of a good friend and I have to go back to Belgium. I’ll be resuming the adventure on 6 or 7 May. I’d also like to say that I’m doing this adventure as a personal experience and I’m not aiming for performance or the race. I want to enjoy my surroundings and take the time to meet and share with others. In Spain, I didn’t have much opportunity to socialise, so I hope I’ll meet more people in Morocco”.

Quelques images de l’aventure

DAY 17 <-> DAY 15

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