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D19 – All around Morocco

01.05.2024 - The Sun Trip
The Sun Trip The Sun Trip

DAY 20 <-> DAY 18

We’ll start the summary of this 19th day by congratulating the last participants to reach Morocco, the Czechs Michael Polak and Jiri Strupl. And what better way for them to mark the occasion than to have had the chance to cross paths with the leader, just before taking the ferry! Jean-Marc Dubouloz was beginning his ascent from Spain, and their routes crossed, with a gap of over 3000 km on the counters! Jean-Marc took two breaks (a man who only takes breaks on special occasions…) and took some nice photos. The Sun Trip spirit!

As for the leaders, for once there’s not much to say on this 19th day. We’ll just share this “yum yum” video from the morning, and say that it was Jean-Marc who immediately regained his lead. For a moment we thought he was taking off, but in the end the gap was around 50 km by evening. As usual, Jack took the shortest and most mountainous route, while trying to recover from the previous day’s immense efforts to get to the ferry. At the end of the day, he sends us this review: “It was very nice today, a good day’s rest”. English humor?

In Morocco

The story of the day in the “Kingdom of the Sun” begins with the beautiful ascent of Tizi N’test by Richard Defay (currently in 6th place), who was the first to opt for a night’s sleep in the inn on the summit, at an altitude of over 2100 meters. Up there, alone in the mountains, after observing chamois through binoculars, he wrote this mid-course assessment: “I get dizzy when I look back on all those days of riding from morning to night. I’m glad I was able to ride alone for several days in a row. I’ve grown bolder during this early part of the journey. Technically, this bike is reliable, but its weak point is its limited photovoltaic capacity, which stresses me out when the weather turns bad”. As for tomorrow morning, he’s afraid he “didn’t pack enough warm clothes”, but he’s looking forward to reaching the desert, and has a word of advice for those who might one day want to prepare for a Sun Trip: “Don’t underestimate the physical and mental difficulty”!

One level ahead of him, the battle for 4th and 5th places suffered a major setback yesterday, just after the participants had left Taroudant: Vivien was forced to take a break for several days in Agadir following an engine problem!

Vivien explains: “Yesterday in Taroudannt I repaired a lot, the landing gear and some fairing fixpoints. At the evening I opened the motor because in the last few kilometers I had some rattling noises. One gear has lost about four tooth. I cleaned everything and made a test drive and beside some quiet noise everything looked good. In the morning I had a good start, the first 20 km where like every other day. But then in a roundabout I had to break quickly because of a truck who took me the rigth of way. Its a weak point of my system. When driving off and when starting the recuperation there are torque peaks, I quess because of bad calibration. So I quess some more teeth broke and after a few kilometers I couldnt ride anymore with motor power. There are two companyes in Germany who sell that gears, so I tryed to call them. But as always with Germans, they are very busy or its a public holyday or they are on vacation.Actually Im yust trying to get the parts to Agadir, but it looks like it could take up to 7 days”.


Belgium’s Géry & Baudouin, then in 5th place, flew off alone to Sidi Ifni, now in 4th place with no direct competition. They’ll have the pleasure of being able to enjoy the beauties of southern Morocco a little more serenely, even if we can guess that they’re not giving up on the idea of conquering 3rd place! The two friends still have it in them!

3rd place went to the young Germans, Kilian & Jonas. After arriving in Taroudant tired and in low spirits following a little culture shock in their first few days in Morocco, the two friends are back in top form. They are now enjoying their Moroccan adventure 100% and have entered the desert part of the project. They’re going to get an eyeful, and they’re riding hard, at over 250 km a day from Taroudant. Be sure to follow them on Instagram: 

Race positions

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

Live Map

Other stories of the day :

Vincent Lauga : “Rayon changé + un petit stock sur mesure, avec thé et gâteaux offerts en attendant la réparation… c’est top (Tbina cycling south of Rabat)! Superb coastal road after Rabat (have we changed countries?)… in any case it’s “royal” (in fact it leads to the royal palace): palm trees, watered and mowed grass, and even the roadside is swept!! for about 40 kilometers… This is Morocco as I expected it to be (too bad the welcome was really spoiled by the ill-behaved kids on the first 2 days: a well-known problem in this region!) Still a few little problems: a small collision in Rabat when I was stopped… fortunately it was the trailer chassis that took the strain (the solar panel doesn’t stick out!). And almost 2 hours to cross Casablanca at the end of the day: traffic jams, pollution… not great on a recumbent bike… but it’s okay, no problem. Mixed friture tonight to recover from the day!”

Jean-Louis Mérelle : “I set off from my campsite near Tangier in the direction of Rabat on the N1. At one point I leave the N1 to take another road which is normally much quieter. It turned out to be quite the opposite… On the other hand, it did allow me to discover a world apart, where the poverty of the inhabitants and the wealth of the companies live side by side. In fact, this road is lined with numerous market gardeners. To maintain and harvest the produce, the companies employ many workers. What’s striking at first glance is that a good half of the workers are teenagers, some of them very young. They wear very old clothes and don’t shower very often… Some even have surprising jobs… At one point, a large pickup loaded with workers overtakes me. A little further on I find it stopped with the workers getting out of the pickup. The driver’s door also opens and I discover that it’s a young teenager of around 12 or 14!” More on his Polarstep.

Luciano Trumpler : “The incredible is the greatest adventure I’ve ever had. It was a perfect day, we met Jean Philippe and Herman yesterday and went to the same hotel and had dinner together.”

Others images of the day

DAY 20 <-> DAY 18

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