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Stage 5

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Alnif - The Mummy

18 October  -   151  -   900

Live blog

Winners Stage 5 are in after torturous 151km
After a torturous 151km ride through the scorching desert, Jelle Hanseeuw and Frederick Decaesteker crossed the finish line in the Mummy crater. What a fantastic achievement! With an average speed of 26,8km/h it took them 5:46:23. They managed to cut loose from Michael Ossieur en Stefan Vaes in the last 100m. They ended 30 seconds later at 5:46:53!

Michiel Van Aelbroeck en Bart Seynave reached the finish line 8 minutes later at 5:55:23
Stage 5 - Crossing “infinity” & welcome to the desert
Stage 5 is love it or hate it! On today’s menu there are 151 long kilometers through endless desert plains. It’s the last long test. Those who manage to finnish this stage will most certainly also finnish the Roc du Maroc!
Today’s challenge starts with a quite some variety: 25 km winding tracks through hilly landscapes, dotted with some oasis and rocky oueds. As soon as the riders cross the asfalt, the scenery dramatically change and becomes immensely monotonous.
Once past checkpoint 1, the desert looks like an African savannah, with lots of acacia trees and many gorges. This goes on for about 35 kilometers straight, after which suddenly any form of vegetation simply dissapears and there is nothing but plains and 360 degrees of nothingness. After another hour of pedaling, the mountain where we find checkpoint 2, seems to keep stay in the far away distance. It’s a unique experience. A batlle between man, woman, their bike and themselves.
But when the evening comes, regardless of the arrival time, before or after the sun sets, a warm welcome is awaiting you at the “Mummy” bivouac. (yes, the one from the movie!). We will be camping and celebrating today’s accomplishment in the heart of a crater.
Stage 4 Race Category Winners
Yesterday evening we announced the winners of the Stage 4 Race category!

#1 Michiel Van Aelbeeck & Bart Seynaeve (5:15:01)

MASTERS (40-50)
#1 Michael Ossieux & Stefan Vaes (5:34:53)

#1 Pascal De Kort & Johnny Goetschalk (5:56:03)

#1 Luc Bellings & Alice Pirrard (6:01:00)

Overall race event lead after 4 stages:
#1 Jelle Hanseeuw & Frederik Decaesteker

Daily news

News of the Day - Stage 5

Every day our Roc du Maroc race director and former world champion cyclocross Erwin Verveken looks back at the day's events.

Longest stage Roc du Maroc in totally different setting

The fifth stage in the 6-days stage race Roc du Maroc would be a tough one.  The organizer considered it to be mentally and physically tough: “you love it or you hate it…”.  151km straight through a desolate and flat desert landscape with the underground varying from gravel to loose sand.  The start at half past seven made that a part of the ride was done before the heat took over, but for many amateur riders who often reach the finish just before sunset, it promised to be a long day battling with themselves and their shadow.  “The Mummy, a big crater in the middle of the dessert and setting for some movies amongst which the latest Bond-movie was the finish location where riders could finally rest after a very long day.

The race was a cease-fire between the strong teams who made an agreement not to attack and in the end, three duo’s who dominated the race in the past days made the final with Jelle Hanseeuw and Frederik Decaesteker taking their fourth win in the end with a late attack just before the finish line.  Michael Ossieur and Stefaan Vaes finished in second while the winners of yesterday Michiel Van Aelbroeck and Bart Seynaeve had a bad moment with 20 to go and came in third.

Also the mixed and grandmaster category had the same winners as the days before confirming their leader position in the age group.

Tomorrow brings a 66km short stage with mainly the golden sanddunes of Ergchebbi as main difficulty of the day towards the finish line in Merzouga where everybody can look back to a marvellous adventure.

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RocduMaroc was live.

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