Stage 2 : OUED EL AATCHANA / TAOURIRT MOUCHANNE :
The dunes make an entrance
At 8am. Hygrometry: 20%. Temperature: 20,4°C.
At 12h. Hygrometry: 13%. Temperature: 38,7°C.
Number of competitors on the start line: 849. Withdrawals from leg 1: 4.
Sandy patches, dried-up wadis and the first dunes were on today’s menu, together with a high humidity rate and extreme heat (38°C).
8.35am. The sun is already roasting wadi El Aatchana, where the second leg of the 27th Sultan MARATHON DES SABLES starts. 38.5km will take the runners to Taourirt Mouchanne. At the front of the race, Al Aqra (D148-JOR) from Jordan takes the lead in the first dunes, in front of Ahansal (D8-MAR) and El Rachidy (D1-MAR). But 9km before the finish line, when reaching the dried-up lake that leads to it, El Rachidy moves to full gear: he catches up with Al Aqra and wins the stage with 2 minutes over his Jordanian challenger. Slightly behind, The French are doing well: Christophe Le Saux (D113-FRA) ends up in 9th position, 27’58’’ behind the winner. On the women’s side, Laurence Klein (D322-FRA) wins the stage again, broadening the gap between her and her contenders at the general ranking. Tomorrow the competitors will be enjoying stunning sights in the 35 km between Taourirt Mouchanne and El Maharch, where over 5km of magnificent sand dunes and long stony plains will make their day.
1st : Rachid El Morabity (D1-MAR), 38,5km in 2h50’22’’.
2nd : Salameh Al Aqra (D8-MAR), 2’14’’.
3rd : Mohamad Ahansal (D148-JOR) à 3’18.
1st : Laurence Klein (D322-FRA), 38,5km in 3h51’06’’.