4th – 6th January, 2020 – Monaco to Savona, Italy

After many months of planning, preparation and intense training, Andrew arrived in Monaco for the start of the 2020 Africa ECO Race.

Getting back together with the rest of the Nomadas Adventure team is something Andrew always looks forward to.

There’s a special bond with team manager Hernan Samaniego, teammate and riding buddy Pablo (Juan Pablo Guillen) and the rest of the crew that will all work together to get the guys through the 2020 Africa ECO Race.

But there was very little time to settle in and enjoy the lifestyle Monaco has to offer.

For Andrew, it was the first chance he’s had to get familiar with the new Coca-Cola Energy KTM 450 Factory Rallye bike he will ride in the event.

Andrew has made the shift to the KTM brand, and is now on a similar bike to his teammate Pablo.

The team has also secured a sponsorship arrangement with Coca-Cola Energy, and both bikes are now carrying spectacular Coca-Cola Energy livery.

And of course, before any rally there’s always the long and involved process of administrative and technical checks. And the good news is that everything passed through the process without any problems and Andrew and Pablo were cleared to start.

Under lights on the evening of 4th January Andrew rode the Coca-Cola Energy KTM 450 Factory Rallye onto the start podium for the 2020 Africa ECO race.

The next morning was a 3am start!

After the celebrations of the night before all teams transported the race and support vehicles to Savona in Italy – a relatively short 130km trip – to be loaded onto a ship for the next part of the adventure.

Eight hundred people and tonnes of vehicles and equipment are now spending 36 hours sailing from Savona to the Moroccan port of Tangier. And on their arrival on the 7th January (local time), competition will begin.

Andrew and Pablo will start Stage 1 at 11.30am local time (8.35pm AEST / 9.35pm AEDT)

Nomadas Adventure are also assisting 37 year old Indian rider Ashish Raorane in the 2020 Africa ECO Race. Ashish, like Andrew, is planning on racing in the 2021 Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia. He will start the stage at 11.10am local time.

Stage 1 takes competitors from Tangier to the bivouac in Tarda, a distance of 754km. There’s a short 24km special stage through the Maamora cork oak forest, and that will determine the starting order for Stage 2. The route is mainly sandy and windy with some holes and ruts, but a fairly easy start to the rally.