TIMIMOUN – EL MENIA
Today’s menu features an appetizer of tracks which were quick, seemingly endless and difficult to navigate, with a side of wild camels roaming between the wells rare and far between.
Before getting to the main dish, the route featured fesh fesh along dunes. Then they go to the most challenging stretch: about 150km of sandy track. The FASM covered all the bases for the pilots of the Sahari Rally 2018 and organized a dessert of big dunes which led to the end of the SS, a few kilometres away from El Menia.
The stage was long, varied and at times quite tiring. One that was clearly reminiscent of the famous stages of the Paris-Dakar, which took place on the territory. The day was challenging in terms of navigation too. The lead pilots in the general rankings were forced to conserve their strength to make it to the end, while still ensuring they maintained the advantage they’d gained until now.
Unfortunately, less than three kilometres from the starting point at the bivouac in Timimoun, Victor Rivera fell probably due to a stone. He was immediately assisted and due to an injured hip bone, he decided to travel back to Barcelona and forfeit the race. According to Livio Metelli who witnessed the fall, it was a great big tumble, which was not aided by lack of light at 7 in the morning.
The super-fast Alessandro Ruoso, who according to tracking hit the 190km/h mark a few times today, won the race in the moto category.
Due to the length of the stage, the complete rankings will be available very late this evening. To check these, please refer to www.saharirally.fr or the Facebook page @saharirally2018.
We went really fast, there were a couple of tracks where I wanted to see how fast my bike could go. As far as the dunes go, I understood that I need to respect my Africa Twin Rally, or it’d end badly. So I’ll tackle the dunes with more cool than I do the tracks.