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J17 – Top 5 in the mountains

29.04.2024 - The Sun Trip
The Sun Trip The Sun Trip

DAY 18 <-> DAY 16

Day 17 saw 4 teams pass through the Rabat checkpoint, and Herman Segers crash (without serious consequences).

But this 17th day was above all marked by the crossing of the Atlas Mountains by 4 of the top 5 teams, Jean-Marc Dubouloz and Jack Butler on the return journey, Vivien Dettwiler and Géry & Baudouin on the southern route.

It was in the Marrakech rain, a rare phenomenon by the way, that the race to the mountains began for the two teams vying for 4th place. Early in the morning, Vivien’s battery was almost at zero. He could see his two Belgian friends overtaking him at the foot of the pass, but he had his strategy in mind!

In the morning, it was raining in Toufsirine and I thought the climb to Tizin Test would be difficult, as it was for me in Pierre Saint Martin, no sun, wind and rain. But after seeing Gery and Baudoin overtake me, I set off with 10% and no hope. After passing Asni and Ouirgane, I had to stop because of the 0% SOC. But just as I set up my solar panels, the clouds began to dissipate and I was able to recharge up to 45%.”

A little further up the valley, after passing the track section, the Swiss rider was able to pass Géry and Baudouin again, “despite the engine warming up a little“, before finally reaching the famous Tizi N’Test pass with a lead of just a few minutes. The 3 men reached the summit, just as Jean-Marc and Jack had done a few days ago.

You can relive the climb with these pictures taken by Géry :

On the descent, the two teams didn’t keep up and Vivien came very close to the Taroudant checkpoint, reached early in the morning of April 29. The Swiss got within 24 hours of the podium, as the young Germans Kilian and Jonas set off again at the same time after the regulation break in Taroudant. At the halfway point, the race for the podium is wide open!

1500 km ahead… the race for first place is still in full swing. The two leaders had been on parallel routes since the day before, which was unprecedented in their Moroccan loop. Jack Butler took the most direct route, over the mountains with a passage at over 2600 metres to cross in the cold. Jean-Marc opted for a detour via a less mountainous route. In the end, the match ended in a near-perfect tie. For the moment, the Frenchman retains the lead he had at the end of the desert.


We didn’t receive any images from Jean-Marc, so here’s the video of Jack Butler’s day.

In today’s “anecdote du jour“, we’re delighted to tell you about the arrival on the Sun Trip route of our friend Jean-Philippe Maurice, a Frenchman living in Senegal. He was due to set off with the 2024 group, but a knee operation decided otherwise. He’s now back on the Sun Trip route in Morocco, riding at his own pace with his friend Jean-Marie. We look forward to bringing you news of this happy character in the days to come.

Race positions

  1. Jean-Marc Dubouloz
  2. Jack Bulter
  3. Kilian & Jonas
  4. Vivien Dettwiller
  5. Géry & Baudouin

Live Map :

Other pics of the day

Video by Michael Polak, with Jiri, in Portugal :

DAY 18 <-> DAY 16

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