Saturday 5th October, 2019 – Fes to Aoufous, Morocco.
Today’s stage took the riders from Fes to the bivouac in the heart of the desert at Aoufous, and for Andrew and the other Enduro Cup entrants that was a total distance of 347km. The FIM competitors covered close to 500km.
Andrew has finished 9th today in the Enduro Cup category after what he has described as “one of the biggest days” he’s ever had on a bike.
“Today was a Dakar type day, mountain range after mountain range, the tracks were extremely rocky and there was no chance to get a break anywhere. There were also a number of sandy and rocky river beds with plenty of dangers.”
“It was one of the biggest days physically I’ve had on a bike and I took it very easy.”
“Navigation was good but it was a day full of dangerous cliffs and rocks everywhere.”
The winding, rock-filled mountain paths forced many riders to take a cautious approach to avoid punctures or running off the track. They got some sort of relief towards the end of the stage as the terrain opened up into stretches of sand and camel grass.
Sherco factory rider Xavier Flick leads the Enduro Cup category, and after a reshuffle of timings by the FIM officials Sam Sunderland (Red Bull KTM) has been declared the stage winner in the FIM category. Original stage winner Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) has been bumped back to 5th place which moves Australia’s Toby Price (Red Bull KTM) up to 4th, 2min 6sec behind Sunderland.
Tomorrow’s stage consists of a 200km liaison and 295km special stage for the Enduro Cup riders and a 370km special stage for the FIM category.