|Africa Eco Race: Last day in the dunes.|
The last days in the dunes – so it says, as we still have one day to go in the Africa Eco Race and a competition like this is only over at the finishline. On the 11th of january the race will reach Dakar and the famous beach near Lac Rose but before we are there we have one big stage to go. Yesterday the last day in the dunes in Mauritania was a day of consolidation.
Michael Pisano, leader in the bike category is trying to maintain his position in the field and as in the nineth stage none of the attackers was truely succesfull he managed to do so. Dominique Robin psuhed and won the stage today: ' After yesterday’s difficulties, I took a lot of pleasure today and I’m really happy to have won the stage. It makes me forget yesterday and winning is always a great feeling. For me the victory won’t be possible in my opinion, so I’ll do my best to keep my second place until the end'.
The battle behind the leaders was interesting with Guillaume Martens from the Netherlands, Harite Gabari and Robert Theuretzbacher racing to reach the finish. Guillaume scored his highest ranking this year with a fifth place overall, behind Harite and Robert.
In the dunes the car category is one that has a hard time but today Yves Fromont made it look easy driving from a 17th position to victory with the VW Tarek buggy. 'We started 17th, and as we could not see much mainly due to dust, during the first 50km, we took a parallel track which gave us the opportunity to overtake a lot of opponents. We were also very competitive in the first dune field, where a lot of participants were stuck. The second dunes field went well even if SABATIER overtook us. It’s nice to win after such a complicated rally.'
Once again Stephane Henrard finishes 2nd of the day at 2’26, proving the performance of his Dunbee on this kind of field. The Belgian is 15 minutes in front of Schlesser and Gilles Florin finishes 4th. Jackie Loomans classifies 5th and strengthens his 2nd place in the general rankings in front of Henrard. 'It would be nice to have two Belgian teams on the podium', says Jacky.
Tomas Tomecek remains unbeatable in the general ranking and today he showed why. His ability to race in almost every kind of terrain makes it difficult for his opponents. Elisabete Jacinto and Miklos Kovacs are racing for the podium as Noël Essers has trouble with his clutch and is forced to return to the bivouac.
Friday 10th of January, the 10th stage between Toueila in Mauritania and Saint Louis in Senegal will be the last special of the SONANGOL AFRICA ECO RACE 2014. In other words, after the 202km of stage, the rankings will be freezed and the winner of each category will be known. But only after this last straight line! Remember anything can happen in Africa.
2014/01/10 | 11:12 CET | MR/NH/AER