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D27 – Troubles and joys

09.05.2024 - The Sun Trip
The Sun Trip The Sun Trip

DAY 28 <-> DAY 26

Let’s take a step back in time and look at the joys and trials of our valiant solar adventurers.

Let’s start by noting that the young Belgian, Miguel Letor, took to the adventure trail again on 8 May. We look forward to following his offbeat adventure over the coming weeks. He is currently still in Portugal.

The Czechs Michael & Jiri had a slow day on the Tizi N’Test pass. It’s safe to assume that they’ll be at the summit on the morning of 9 May and in Taroudant later in the day. From there they will deviate from the official Sun Trip itinerary, to make the return journey a little easier for themselves, who are being slowed down by a number of technical problems.

Herman Segers has just returned from the Moroccan Sahara, and had to change his plans slightly, as part of the route he wanted to take was not tarmac. His adventure in the deep south does, however, give us an idea of the roads in the area: it’s a complete blank!

On the official Sun Trip route, Frenchman Vincent Lauga is keeping up a good pace, despite a few technical glitches and the heat that is currently overwhelming the participants. “The electrical/electronic problems haven’t really been resolved. I’m afraid I’m going to have to continue in ‘downgraded’ mode (140W max for 245W of panels) to get back. But it’s OK, I’m on my way back, I’ve passed the southernmost point and covered more than half the kilometres, with less than 3,700 to go, so everything’s fine. The scenery is impressive, desert-like, but it’s getting difficult in the heat. I had a quick go in the sand and got stuck straight away, with the chain in the sand too… clean-up… I’m going to stay on the roads, which are quite good“.

Around 100 km ahead, Jean-Louis Mérelle is also suffering badly from the heat. He’s been a little less communicative recently. He finished his day in Tata. “Maybe I rode too much yesterday, maybe it’s too hot, I’m tired, I’m dozing on the handlebars! Luckily I was able to finish my day in a nice place to stay, a little mud hut. Tomorrow will be another day…”.

Two checkpoints further on, at Boulmane Dades, it was less festive for Frenchman Richard Defay. The Frenchman has fallen victim to a food-borne infection. He has been suffering from this for several days since Taroudant. He is now unable to continue his adventure. The medical situation seems to be under control. Richard says he is serene and has taken the day to organise his repatriation.

“I made the mistake of not resting when I first had symptoms, caught up in the energy of the group. That’s just the way it is, it’s part of the adventre. Whether I’m lying down or sitting in the shade, I feel like I’ve got energy, but nothing ever gets through except fresh liquid. I take off from Marrakech tomorrow around noon. My dismantled bike is on a lorry bound for France. I’ll make sure I’m in Chambéry to welcome my friends.“. A big well done to him for his fine route on the Sun Trip 2024, and for his perfect state of mind.


His three companions in the “Taroudant group” continued their journey in threes. Vincent Gallego, Luciano Trumpler and Bertrand Goudenhooft passed through the splendid Todra gorges and then climbed a 2,600 metre high pass to leave the great desert behind them.

Swiss rider Vivien Dettwiler reached Boulmane Dades in the middle of the climb, taking time to say hello to Richard Defay, before deciding to continue towards the famous Dades gorges! He was the first to make this choice and by the end of the day he had reached the most remarkable sector. Tomorrow, however, he will be tackling a terrible trail that will take him to high altitude. We hope his bike can take the strain. Well done for daring.


Much further ahead in Spain, in the world of participants in the Sun Trip race, Géry & Baudouin had started the day with a bang, making up time on the Germans, but suddenly the day took a turn for the worse. Baudouin: “It’s afternoon, it’s a case of breaking and re-breaking. Géry bends the torque arm (the arm that holds the engine stator): the wheel gets stuck in the middle of Cordoba. Then our two rear structure axles exploded… it’s complicated. We’re still in good spirits. We lose the lead we gained over the Germans this morning. Lots of people stopped to help us sort it out. It’s crazy. In short, it’s been a difficult day.”


Ahead of them, with a lead of around 280 km, Germany’s Kilian & Jonas are the winners of the day. They still have 1300 km to go to Chambéry, but for the moment they are holding on to 3rd place and seem to be smiling:

DAY 28 <-> DAY 26

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