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Transorientale: The French Eric Vigouroux is fighting again.

The Transorientale crossed the horses´ heaven that is the vast Kazakh steppe, going from Bogatse to Arkalik on Tuesday 17th June then from Arkalik on to Botakara on Wednesday 18th June. The Trophy Truck romped home trouble-free in this marathon stage with no assistance at the halfway bivouac, although it was slowed by some unforeseens.

"Let´s look at the special stage on the 17th, first", says Eric Vigouroux. "We went at it full tilt. The ground was completely risk-free, no trees, no stones, just the steppe stretching out as far as you could see. We were hoping to really get the most out of our Trophy, and for a long time we were racing with a Kamaz truck, including jumping a massive ditch the size of a car together. We went over it and didn´t feel a thing! Then we came to a ford that had a lorry, a car and a motorbike bogged down halfway across. There was no way we could get over, so we were looking for somewhere else to cross further up or downstream. Credit to Alex who was the only co-pilot to get out his ordnance survey map and find another route. This meant we got to the finish as fast as possible, but those drivers who went over before the river crossing was blocked are obviously way ahead in the rankings."

On a sad note, the second special stage of the marathon stage was cancelled following the death of a Chinese driver and a French rider. The racers took a link to Botakara, stopping off halfway at Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. "Today was a series of long links without importance. But I was impressed going through Astana; it´s an ultra-modern city and a contrast with the surrounding villages. It´s like Dubai, only better."

2008/06/19 | 12:17 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Pro System Racing

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