After the events of yesterday, the atmosphere was heavy this morning: Notably so during the distribution of the road-book an hour before the start of the 3rd stage of the AFRICA ECO RACE. Composed of a 466 km special stage competitors followed by a 60 km liaison to the bivouac. Despite everything, the race goes on and the time gaps grow larger at the finish line and therefore in the general standings, for those on both two and four wheels.
And second for GERINI in the bike race
Maurizio GERINI has decided to make a name for himself on this 14th edition of the AFRICA ECO RACE. Indeed, the Italian, already winner of the first stage, won again today by placing his HUSQVARNA 00:04:01 in front of the KTM of Slovak Stefan SVITKO. Behind him, Xavier FLICK, although he was first to start, finished 3rd at 00:21:47. A great performance when understqnd that he rode alone from the beginning to the end of the stage. The Frenchman precedes the Spanish Pol TARRES on the YAMAHA 700, who arrived at 00:51:36, at the same time as Pal Anders ULLEVALSETER. The Norwegian got lost today and is only in 5th position with more than an hour to go. The Slovak Martin BENKO who knows the race well was right on his tail in his KTM, finishing 6th, a place a somewhat more in accordance with his level. The British driver Robbie WALLACE continued to do well following his excellent start to the rally by finishing 7th ahead of the Dutchman Stephan SAVELKOULS, for the first time in the top 10. The 9th place goes to Alessandro BOTTURI who lost a lot of time due to a technical problem on his YAMAHA 700. Big performance finally for the Quad N°198 of the Czech Zdenek TUMA who is classified 10th of the special stage of the day. It had been a while since a Quad had achieved such a performance in the AFRICA ECO RACE.
In the provisional general classification, Maurizio GERINI takes the lead, for 00:02:42 ahead of Stefan SVETKO while François FLICK is now 3rd at 00:23:03. Behind them, Pal Anders ULLEVALSETER is in 4th position almost an hour behind.
First victory for Philippe GOSSELIN and Christophe CRESPO today in the car category
The days are not the same for David GERARD and Pascal DELACOUR since the leaders of the general classification had steering problems, which forced them to leave the track to reach the bivouac by road. So, it is the other OPTIMUS buggy of the French Philippe GOSSELIN and Christophe CRESPO that won today, 01:09:58 ahead of the CAN AM of Rudy VOLLEBREGT and Gert TRAA. A great battle is going on between the different CAN AM SSVs and the Dutch have overtaken the Senegalese Jean DAGHER HAYECK and Patrick ANTONIOLLI by 00:02:09. Behind them, the Frenchmen Bruno ROBIN and Philippe CHAMPIGNE are ranked 4th, only 30 seconds behind and the Dutch Laurens MEIJER and Robbert VISSER 53 seconds behind them. A tiny gap between them considering the 466 km of dunes and gravel tracks over which it is very easy lose time. Once again, Tomas TOMECEK finished first in the truck category in his TATRA, taking 6th place for the day.
In the provisional general standings, Philippe GOSSELIN and Christophe CRESPO have taken the lead of the AFRICA ECO RACE ahead of the CAN AM of Frenchmen Loïc FREBOURG and Franck BOULAY. But the road to Dakar is still long and it is far from over!
Tomorrow, Friday, October 21, the AFRICA ECO RACE will continue its way south with a special of 455 km straight fro, bivouc to bivouac. The route includes the crossing of a mountain range before a section of desert tracks in the stunning southern Moroccan desert.
Source Africa Race