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D28 – Under the heat and sand!

10.05.2024 - The Sun Trip
The Sun Trip The Sun Trip

DAY 29 <-> DAY 27

We haven’t yet talked about the heat on this Sun Trip, but now’s the time! All the participants in Morocco are affected, but those who suffer the most are obviously Herman Segers, Vincent Lauga and Jean-Louis Mérelle, who are in the most desert part of the trip, with a headwind and sand clouds… Temperatures are in excess of 40°C.

“I set off early, only to arrive in a desert that was a little drier than yesterday. Long straight stretches and desert landscapes. I stopped for 2 hours at midday to let some of the heat pass, rather than stopping over and over again. It was a good break… But the weather and the wind-blown sand darkened the sky and the batteries drained nicely… I met my first 4 camels this afternoon. 140 km for today“, Jean-Louis Mérelle tells us from Foum Zguid, one of the few towns bordering the desert. Video of his break:

Vincent Lauga had the same opinion: “It was a very difficult day with a strong headwind, temperatures in excess of 40 degrees and very often a sky full of (sand) clouds… so Tata’s campsite was very welcome (110km in these conditions is enough for today). The scenery was pretty monotonous and we had to pedal 50km between 2 shops (to get fresh water!)… the water bottle was too hot, even to water myself with it!”

Belgian Herman Segers has to deal with the same conditions, “I saw that there was this cloud for another 3 days, it’s bad luck…“. Having just completed his bonus loop in the south of Morocco, he is now used to extreme conditions.

The Tizi N’Test pass was also crossed by our Czech adventurers Michael and Jiri. They will be in Taroudant on 10 May, where they are due to attempt a change of solar panels with a local specialist. The efficiency of theirs is steadily declining. After that, it’s possible that the two adventurers will go their separate ways. We shall see.

Still in Morocco, congratulations to Vivien Dettwiler, the only rider to have taken the road to the Dades Gorges (yesterday), had to tackle the terrible track that follows this day, up to an altitude of 2900m. “It’s possible, but I wouldn’t recommend this route to others, sometimes you have to push the bike or even carry it….”. He’ll certainly be the only one to make it this far, and he’ll have gone the highest in the whole adventure.

In Spain, the duel for 3rd place seems to be turning in favour of Kilian & Jonas, who have regained a slight lead. It has to be said that the Belgians have been plagued by technical problems! “It’s crazy, all the problems we’ve had over the last 3 days. We’ve had to change tyres, Géry’s brakes have gone and I’ve lost an engine. Every day we spend hours on repairs. But we’ve managed to hit the 200km mark,” says Baudouin. And when we ask them what their objectives are, the answer is simple: “to stay alive, get the brakes back, and if the mechanics keep up, maybe still hope for 3rd place“.

For the Germans, the mechanicals seem to be holding up and they are keeping up a pace of around 225 km a day. The morale of the troops seems good. Jonas: “I’m a bit tired, it’s been a long journey. But I love seeing these landscapes and seeing what it’s really like. But I wish I’d had more time to be in the same place”. Video at last checkpoint :

We’ll end today’s summary by informing you that Richard Defay has been able to return to his home in France. The rest continues for him.

Race position on D28

  • 1er : Jack Butler, in 23 days and 2 hours
  • 2ème : Jean-Marc Dubouloz, in 23 days and 6 hours
  • 3. Kilian & Jonas
  • 4. Géry & Baudouin
  • 5. « Le groupe de Taroudant » (Vincent G, Bertrand, Luciano).

Live map :

Other shots of the day

Silent Dades by Vivien : 

Herman super star : on the main moroccan TV !

Bonus video from Jack :

DAY 29 <-> DAY 27

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