|Merzouga Rally: Polish Jacek Czachor leader of the third stage in Morocco.|
The third stage of the "Merzouga Rally" in Morocco took the competitors north of Merzouga for 238 kilometers of selective sectors. After the start in the big dunes of the Erg Chebbi, the riders head north to Erfoud to tackle a varied terrain of rocky river beds fast track, camel grass and finally the big soft dunes on the way back to the bivouac.
The stage, characterized by a variety of all the terrain and difficulties of a true African Rally was also challenging for the navigation. Polish Jacek Czachor of the Orlen Team, waterboy of Jakub "Kuba" Przygonsky, claimed the win of the third stage in front of Italian Giovanni Sala and South African Brett Cumming.
"It was a complete stage, with a varied terrain and a challenging navigation. I lost some time for a waypoint but all in all I’m satisfied" said Czachor after the stage.
Brett Cumming told: "It was a really nice stage with lots of fast tracks and dunes. The navigation was very challenging today especially in the 80km ring among the 2 refuelling points where I had to slow down a bit in order to follow the road book without making mistakes."
"I think I overspeed twice in 2 areas of speed limits, so I have to see which will be my final position for today. I’m getting more confortable with the navigation. We are here for training for the Dakar where I will compete with the GHR Honda Australia with Glen Grundy, my team mate."
Portuguese Pedro Bianchi Prata, finished 4th, even if his position may change because he stopped to assisit an injured rider. "It was a typical African stage today with fast tracks where I reached the top speed of 154km/h, rocky river beds, soft sands, camel grass."
"At km 35 I was the first to assist Glauco, nr 10 who had suffered a crash. I called the PC course for medical assistance and waited till the arrival of the doctor who reached the spot in 6 minutes. After the refuelling I took my rhythm again and, apart loosing some time for a waypoint, that didn't open, I think I did everything correct today" said Prata.
It was a very positive day also for Maurizio Micheluz, 4th, Davide Corradini 7th, Ladis Dalle Mule, 8th, Francesco Tarricone 9th, a well known face in Italy for his 7th participation on the Dakar and Andrea Fesani 9th. "It was a pity that I jut lost the concentration before the refuelling and I exceed the speed limit, a part that I really enjoyed the ring between the 2 refuelling because it was very navigated and off piste" said Tarricone.
It was a bad day for Italian Glauco Ciarpaglini who had a bad crash at km 35 breaking his collarbone. Glauco was brought with the helicopter ambulance to the hospital in Erracidia for further checks.
Unofficial results SS3 "Virgo" 238 kms Bikes
01) Jacek Czachor
02) Sala Giovanni
03) Brett Cumming
04) Pedro Bianchi Prata
05) Maurizio Micheluz
06) Alex Busquets
07) Davide Corradini
08) Ladis Dalle Mule
09) Francesco Tarricone
10) Andrea Fesani
Unofficial results SS3 "Virgo" 238 kms SSV
01) Henrichy / Costa
02) Fidel / Sanchez
03) Rinaldi / Caron
2012/11/09 | 12:37 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/MOSSI