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D9 – Happy as a SunTripper

21.04.2024 - The Sun Trip
The Sun Trip The Sun Trip

DAY 10 <-> DAY 8

After a week on the road, and with the sun once again allowing most of us to make good progress, we’d like to take a moment today to tell you what the participants are feeling, as expressed by those who answered the question of the day.

It’s already good to note that satisfaction reigns! “The Sun Trip at last! “exclaims Vincent Lauga, “Super happy to be here in the middle of everyone”, for Vincent Gallego. For Vivien Dettwiller, we’re already looking to the future: “It’s a very new experience, and a great way to test the vehicle. Maybe I’ll build a version 2!”, and for Jean-Louis Mérelle we’re hanging in there: “this morning I had a little moment of slackness… I’m starting to be a long way from home… but I pulled myself together and now it’s going well“.

They all know that they are living an extraordinary life experience, one that is both solitary and driven by an inspiring collective dynamic.

They’re all raving about the thrill of solar bike travel, a sensation that’s hard to understand until you’ve experienced it for yourself. These comments from the participants will put you on the trail of happiness:

Vincent Lauga: “When you’re moving forward and your batteries are full, you enjoy yourself… the adventure seems achievable”.

Vincent Gallego: “Dozens of smiles and positive signs from those we meet, a lot of astonishment and a few doubts”.

Herman Segers: “Always exciting, but stressful because of the constant search for the right path.

Jean-Louis Mérelle: “A world apart… a nomadic life with beautiful encounters with people we’ll never see again… it’s certain that our bike makes it easier to meet people… some people it’s the big bike, and we it’s just our bike”.

Luciano Trümpler: “It’s an extraordinary adventure with people who share the same passion, it’s very gratifying, but it can also be stressful when the sun isn’t shining and you have to climb 1000 meters with your solar bike”.

Richard Defay: “Being on your chosen route from morning to night, stopping as the need arises (drinking, eating, sleeping), looking after your mount, day after day moving away from your landmarks, generates a dizzying mix of fear and confidence. And then that solar wind that blows me forward remains a source of wonder.

Géry & Baudouin: “So far,we’re really happy with our new tricycles. They allow us to rest our necks and wrists compared with our old ones. The two motors (direct drive and geared) allow us to take advantage of both (fine tuning, traction and regen for the direct drive, and ability to work at low speed and in propulsion for the geared). For difficult passages such as 20% slopes, or muddy or sandy tracks, we have two wheel drive and enormous power if required. The system is totally redundant, which means we’re always up and running in the event of a drive chain failure. I’d say we’ve managed to ride 40 kn more per day than in the 2021 edition“.

On the race front, the highlights of Day 9 were the Sun Trip’s passage through Morocco! It’s a first, inaugurated by Jack and Jean-Marc, who arrived in Tangier with a 2-hour gap between them. They arrived in the rain, but were greeted with great kindness by Youssef El Houass, 2018 suntripper and great Moroccan traveler. What a source of pride. The two leaders then rode all day without sun, their batteries empty or almost empty. For a while it looked like Jean-Marc was going to catch up with Jack, but in the end the gap was maintained, and around 60km separated the first from the second. The Rabat Checkpoint will be crossed this Sunday, April 21!


Behind them, Kilian and Jonas passed Checkpoint 2 in Portugal just before sunset over the Atlantic, despite a technical problem with their wheel.


We also salute Luciano Trumpler and Vincent Gallego, who were the fastest yesterday, covering 270 km on the Spanish plateau. Magnificent performance.

Finally, a special mention to Patrice Plozner, who passed Checkpoint 1 late in the afternoon, at the end of an extremely windy climb on the Spanish side. His bike was knocked over several times and he broke his chain. His strategy for getting around the Pyrenees failed, but Patrice is now announcing a dazzling ascent to the front. “I stopped at 6.30pm to recharge the bike as much as possible, and I’ve revised my chain lengths to swap the two central chainrings. I should be riding a lot faster… Watch out for the remontada.

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

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Shots ot the :

DAY 10 <-> DAY 8

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