Merzouga, Morocco - Saturday 16 October 2021
The last stage of the 2021 edition of Roc du Maroc took the riders over gently undulating terrain from the iconic location of the last bivouac, The Mummy (as seen in Bond film Spector), to Merzouga. Just before the finish, the participants were treated to a few kilometres of real sand dunes before a warm welcome awaited them at the finish. After 666 kilometres Roc du Maroc is over!
How the race was won
The sixth stage of the Roc du Maroc is known for its alternating surfaces, with sand and hard to ride stones and lived up to its expectations. This final stage was therefore by no means a formality.
Olivier Mahieu and Jan Maes confirmed their form today and grabbed the stage victory before the overall winners Michael Ossieur and Thiago Guimaraes Osorio. Olivier Mahieu sighed at the finish: "We rode really fast today, wow," he said. "We stayed together for a long time, because actually the first part of the stage is not really selective," Jan Maes added. "Our little plan at 15km from the finish worked out perfectly," Olivier explained the Putters' tactics. "I let Jan ride, he quickly had a gap, he is really strong in the sand. I then bridged to him and only a few riders could follow me, and we were left with only four duos. I'm happy that we could end this week with another victory, and I think we can be satisfied with this week. Except for our debacle in the second stage, we rode very consistently and finished in the first four every time." "It was a phenomenal week, with very pleasant company in the race. Everyone treated each other very respectfully and we ourselves have an incredible respect for everyone who finished this race. Chapeau!"
For Michael Ossieur and Thiago Guimaraes Osorio, today was all about securing the GC. "It has been a very special week," Michael Ossieur explained. "Actually, I was supposed to ride with Ron Dezittere, who unfortunately had to cancel due to serious knee problems. Thanks to the organization, Thiago, who was looking for a partner to ride the race, and I were paired up. We did not know each other and only rode together for the first time during the prologue. That short ride soon gave us the confidence that things would work out between us and that we were more or less on the same level. We worked well together for a whole week and the fact that we didn't know each other a week ago and now take the overall win together is really the icing on the cake."
"To be honest, I'm kind of glad it's over," Michael continued. Riding for the GC, at whatever level, is quite stressful and you don't realize that when you're watching the race from the comfort of your couch. You have to be there every day; you can't let your guard down at any time.”
"I really think we can be proud of ourselves," Thiago agreed. "Who would have thought a week ago that we would win here? Today was also a tough stage, at least for me. I am a climber and the flat and the sand don't suit me so well, so I am happy we were able to maintain our classification today. Michael and I were a good duo, that's for sure." (laughs)
1. Olivier Mahieu and Jan Maes in 2:34:36 (winners Men)
2. Michael Ossieur and Thiago Guimaraes Osorio in 2:35:25
3. Roy Wienk and Camille Martin in 2:35:37 (winners Masters)
4. Johnny Goetschalckx and Pascal De Kort in 2:36:07 (winners Grand Master)
5. Pieter-Jan Vandecasteele and Peter Bouvry in 2:36:51
6. Franky Taelman and Wim Tollenaere in 2:39:32
7. Bjorn Goens and Laurent Tulpin in 2:40:47
8. Jan Lubanski and Davy Christiaens in 2:41:10
9. Kris Peeters and Sven Dezittere in 2:43:52
10. Joeri Vaneycken and Bert De Gendt in 2:45:48
14. Tim Plasman and Elke Bolangier in 2:54:34 (winners Mixed)
1. Michael Ossieur and Thiago Guimaraes Osorio
2. Johnny Goetschalckx and Pascal De Kort
3. Olivier Mahieu and Jan Maes
1. Michael Ossieur and Thiago Guimaraes Osorio in 28:05:29
2. Olivier Mahieu and Jan Maes in 28:46:45
3. Pieter-Jan Vandecasteele and Peter Bouvry in 30:42:20
1. Joeri Vaneycken and Bert De Gendt in 29:10:35
2. Roy Wienk and Camille Martin in 31:01:56
3. Jan Lubanski and Davy Christiaens in 32:22:42
GC Grand Master
1. Johnny Goetschalckx and Pascal De Kort in 28:42:27
2. Diederik Libbrecht and Vaast Bogaert in 29:39:11
3. Franky Taelman and Wim Tollenaere in 30:24:18
1. Lien Suls and Andreas Suls in 33:10:44
2. Daan REvis and Elke Deceuninck in 35:44:54
3. Lien Van De Voorde and Eric Van De Voorde in 38:33:44
For more info:
- Facebook and Instagram: @rocdumaroc
- Results: https://www.ultratiming.be/roc-du-maroc-2021/
This report was brought to you by Elke Weylandt who is doing the honours as race director this year.