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D20 – Already 5 changes of leaders

02.05.2024 - The Sun Trip
The Sun Trip The Sun Trip

DAY 21 <-> DAY 19

The day before, Jean-Marc Dubouloz was thought to have taken the lead, but on the 20th day of the race, the weather took its toll and Jack Butler was able to retake first place in the middle of the afternoon! In the morning, the Frenchman was in trouble due to the lack of sunshine and a complicated route around the freeways:

As usual, the Englishman was pulling straight ahead, with a greater difference in altitude, also helped by the lack of sunshine. For Jack, the more difficult the conditions, the more he’s able to get the better of his rival. So, on this day, he had a chance to come back, a chance that had been prepared for, if we understand his reaction at the end of the stage:“I took the ride yesterday a little easier to try and rest after my crazy sprint to the ferry and lost some kilometres. but it really paid off today. I did really well and I’m feeling fantastic. There is a lot of sun coming the next 2 days. So I should probably lose the lead. I just need to hold on and not lose too many kilometres.

At the end of the afternoon, waves of rain cut off the participants’ route, Jean-Marc seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, Jack seemed to remain in the clear, and the gap widened a little to the benefit of the Englishman!

So, we’ve already had 5 cross-country chases between the two leaders since the start, and it may well not be over yet! So far, the weather forecast for Spain is fairly sunny, but the finish in France (Friday/Saturday) could suffer from a few clouds. Remember the 2021 finish, with a gap of just 3 hours for Jean-Marc Dubouloz over Emile Barbut, can we imagine an even tighter gap this year? Forecasts put the two leaders on the finish line on Sunday May 5, and an arrival ceremony for the champions is planned with the town of Chambéry on Monday May 6 at around 5.30/6pm (more details soon).

Waiting for the outcome: BRAVO gentlemen and thank you for the show, you’ve given us the best race in the history of the Sun Trip!

In Morocco

The highlights of the Moroccan adventure can be summed up as follows:

In the deep south, Kilian & Jonas and Géry & Baudouin are living the travel dream in the desert areas of the Moroccan Sahara. The two teams have ridden very hard, almost 300 km today, and only 260 km separate them. The race for the podium isn’t over yet for the Belgians, who yesterday managed to nibble a few kilometers off the young Germans. Suspense!


In Taroudant, three finishes today, with Richard Defay solo, then at the end of the day with Vincent Gallego, Luciano Trumpler and Herman Segers. The last three will have crossed the Col de Tzi N’Test later in the day, in a group!

Unfortunately, their fellow rider Bertrand Goudenhooft couldn’t make it over the pass. On the most difficult part of the trail, his frame broke! He had to take a van first back to Asni, then at the end of the day to Taroudant. On the spot, the situation was rather worrying. Aluminium welding is not going to be easy, but Bertrand has been referred to the right specialists.

Autre histoire technique du jour, à Tanger, avec le Tchèques Michael Polak et Jiri Strupl, bien heureux de pouvoir compter sur l’aide de Youssef El Haouass, SunTripper 2018, pour réparer la structure des panneaux solaires et remplacer un boitier mppt.


Last but not least, Jean-Louis Mérelle and Vincent Lauga pass through the Rabat and Oualidia checkpoints respectively. The two Frenchmen continue their descent southwards and their acclimatization to Morocco. This extract from Jean-Louis’s account of his trip gives an idea of the adventure they had:

“As I left quite late in the morning to recharge, it’s already 5pm. The weather’s fine and I’m recharging quite well. I decide to continue down to El Jadida. Only on the way, the sky is covered with threatening clouds. The solar charge has dropped drastically. I carry on all the same, because on the western horizon the sky turns blue again, and I’m hoping for a beautiful sunshine at the end of the day. In fact, that’s not going to happen and my batteries are dwindling to such an extent that I don’t think I’ll be able to reach my goal. I stop from time to time as soon as the sun reappears, but it doesn’t last. A gentleman stops to see if I’ve broken down. He offers to put me up in Azemmour. I’ve been riding my bike by muscle power for about 20km now, and I’m exhausted… 5km from Azemmour, I see some people having a drink. I stop and explain the situation. Without hesitation, they offer me a place to stay in front of their house. It’s actually a café where young and not-so-young people meet. They offer me a cup of tea. Then I set up my tent. We chat about everything. At one point it starts raining, and he immediately suggests that I bring my vehicle and tent inside next to the pool table. We continued chatting inside, talking about the history of the creation of the neighborhood by the French… And then lots of other things.”

Race positions on Day 20

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

Live Map :

Other pics

DAY 21 <-> DAY 19

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