SATURDAY 3RD OF JANUARY STAGE # 5: AS SAKN / DAKHLA: 757 km START FROM THE BIVOUAC STAGE: AS SAKN / LAAYOUNE: 225 km LIAISON: LAAYOUNE / DAKHLA: 532 km
On Saturday the stage was shorten by a few kilometers due to a flooded oued, this last Moroccan stage of the 2015 Africa Eco Race was full of action with new winners in all 3 categories, Bike, Car and truck.
Bikes:Robert THEURETZBACHER took the lead from Pal Anders ULLEVALSETER. The Austrian edged closer to the Norwegian and finally passed him atthe end of the stage, about 20 kilometers away from Laayoune. An important victory for the man who won 5 special stages in 2014.
Gilles VANDERWEYEN was once more very constant and ended the day in 3rd position. He took advantage of WALDSCHMIDT’s navigation error to strengthen his 3rd position in the général rankings. David FRETIGNE finished 5th in the bike category. He crossed the line 15 minutes behind the winner and considering he is riding a 1200cc YAMAHA it was a good performance from the frenchman.
Cars:In the Auto category the surprise of the day was Anton GRIGOROV’s and his OSCAR. Indeed, the Russian won the stage in front of Andrey CHEREDNIKOV and his H3 Hummer. This is a good news for GRIGOROV who had lost about 1H45 due to various problems since the beginning of the race.
Jacky LOOMANS finished third of the day and was the strategic winner of the day as his two opponent in the général standings, Miroslav ZAPLETAL and Yuriy SAZONOV, both broke the rear differentials of their H3 HUMMERs.
Truck:On the trucks side, after a 'so so' stage on Friday, Russia’s Sergey KUPRIANOV at the Wheel of his KAMAZ pushed very hard and finished 2nd in the Auto-Truck ranks only 1’54’’ behind GRIGOROV. The other KAMAZ which is gas-powered and driven by SHIBALOV finished in front of Elisabete JACINTO and her MAN. Anton SHIBALOV therefore completes the day’s podium but most importantly is 2nd in the général standings of the Africa Eco Race after a week of racing.
Sunday is a day of rest for the 2015 Africa Eco Race caravan of bikes, cars and trucks in Dakhla, Southern Morocco, right on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. A good opportunity for everybody to charge their batteries before the second week of race in Mauritania and its 7 stages.