Day 2 was tough. It was a challenging route, incredibly beautiful but the added technicality, vertical gain and intense heat took its toll with many DNF’s.
The organisation made a decision to bring the stage 3 start forward by 1-hour, 0700 instead of 0800. It maybe caused some logistical, admin and timing issues for all but it was a good call.
At 34km, stage 3 had less challenges than stage 2, but still a tough day.
With flat km’s to Cp1, the pace was high and Mathieu Blanchard was a main protagonist. He often pushed the pace, closely followed by Aziz, Mohammed and Rachid.
After Cp2 a resplendent area of green vegetation brought a different life to the Sahara. Camels, birds and reptiles, rare to see so much wildlife in one area.
The main protagonists pushed the pace and eventually Mathieu faded leaving the overall top-3 on GC together.
As I expected, Mohammed attacked and not only took the stage but the overall lead. It’s what I expected. The ‘brothers’ have a plan for the long day, but, at 90km’s, anything can happen.
For the women, it was business as usual with Rgna leading. But, after Cp1 she went through a bad patch and Aziza El Amrany took over the front of the race with Ragna complaining of, ‘…feeling fine and lacking power.’
As the race progressed, it all changed. Ragna regained the front and won in 3:29:36.
Maryline Nakache once again ran a strong and consistent stage to not only catch Aziza, pass her and put time into her, the duo finishing in 3:4104 and 3:42:36.
Tomorrow is the big day! It’s beautiful route with some MDS classics in the terrain. At 90km, it will be extremely tough for all. The race will start 1-hour earlier than planned, 0700. The top-50 will start at 1000.
- Mohammed El Morabity 7:46:41
- Rachid El Morabity 7:49:39
- Aziz Yachou 7:50:47
- Mathieu Blanchard 8:29:04
- Vasilii Korytkin 8:37:23
- Ragna Debats 10:15:30
- Maryline Nakache 10:54:09
- Aziza El Amrany 11:32:25
- Corinna Sommer 12:21:46
- Tomomi Bitoh 12:23:11
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