Tuesday 7th January, 2020 – Tangier to Tarda
The first stage of the 2020 Africa ECO Race is done!
A 241km liaison, short 23km special stage mainly to determine the starting order for stage 2, and then another 489km liaison to the bivouac in Tarda.
Andrew’s time in the special places him 38th in the field of 73 bikes. Teammate Pablo Guillen was just 54 seconds behind and will start from position 41, and Indian rider Ashish Raorane who is also racing with the Nomadas Adventure team will start stage 2 from 33rd position.
While the short special stage didn’t really give us a good insight into who the competitive teams might be, the 750km travelled today was a good opportunity for the riders to settle themselves into their competion routine. And like many of the riders, this was Andrew’s first chance to get familiar with the new bike in the Moroccan terrain and make any last minute adjustments.
After a night in Tarda, the 73 riders will start from the bivouac on their 333km journey to Mhamid. The special makes up 329km of the distance. Andrew will start at 8:52am local time (6:52pm AEDT / 5:52pm AEST).
The terrain is expected to have many wadis (dry river beds), and is sometimes very stony and gravelly. Towards the end of the stage the riders will encounter a few small dune crossings.