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D3 – Checkpoint 1 crossed!

14.04.2024 - The Sun Trip
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DAY 4 <-> DAY 2

The big news of the day was obviously the arrival in Spain of the race leader, Englishman Jack Butler. It is therefore possible to set off from Lyon on Friday lunchtime by bike and cross the westernmost pass of the Pyrenees at the weekend, some 850 km away! All you need is a solar-powered bike and 11 hours of cycling a day!

On the morning of the 4th day of adventure, the first racer woke up in Spain, having been given emergency lodgings by the mayor of the small town of Burgi (a native of Lyon), while his pursuer, champion Jean-Marc Dubouloz, was almost at the top of the Checkpoint 1 climb and had had to spend the night in a corridor of a residence in the closed ski resort of La Pierre Saint Martin! It’s an adventure, after a day of 330 km and 3800 m of ascent! Jean-Marc will make it over the pass this morning without a hitch, with the young Germans Kilian & Jonas on his tail by mid-day, but they may well be the only ones to make it over today, as the weather is about to take a turn for the worse. After 3 days of fine weather, it’s cloudy for the vast majority of the group, with the added stress of having to cross the Pyrenees without the possibility of solar recharging!

Race positions on April 15 morning

1.Jack Butler (with 874 km since departure)
2. Jean-Marc Dubouloz
3. Kilian & Jonas
4. Vivien Dettwiller
5. Géry & Baudouin

Live map :

The bypass strategy

At around 1:30 p.m. this Sunday, April 14, Frenchman Patrice Plozner announced a strategy to avoid the clouds… He’s going to try a bit of a gamble by crossing over to the Spanish side and then heading “the wrong way” to checkpoint 1. He’s going to try his luck by passing through the Spanish side of the route and then heading “the wrong way” to checkpoint 1. It’s a detour of at least 200/250 km, but it’s perfectly authorized by the rules of the adventure, and it could allow him to stay on a 100% solar recharge of his batteries. We don’t yet know what the outcome will be, but it’s unlikely that the other participants will follow him in this strategy. “It’s fun, but I’m going to take the classic route” commented Vincent Lauga, “why not… it’s longer I think” said Jean-Marc Dubouloz, ” by the Pertuis it’s flat, at least he thinks otherwise” concluded Richard Defay.

At the rear of the group,young Belgian Miquel Letor continues his climb towards the back of the pack, having spent some time with his loved ones on the start day. His compatriot Herman Segers is still stuck in Bézier, waiting to find his abandoned battery. He should be back on the road. Vincent Lauga, for his part, was a little weary between technical problems and a bold choice of route: “I took a route a little too far north (to avoid the big cities), very hilly but quite pretty“. He plans to cross into Spain in 3 days’ time, while most of the others hope to pass through by Tuesday, weather permitting…

The best meeting of the day was undoubtedly for Kilian and Jonas, awaited by SunTrippers Béatrice and Yannick on their way to Tarbes. Thanks for the photos 🙂


Have a good trip and good luck with the weather!

Shots of the day :


DAY 4 <-> DAY 2

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