El Morabity and Barnes hold on to their leads despite strong competition
It’s the long stage and time to sort the field out. It’s the most feared and probably most critical stage of this race. This year’s fourth stage was 86.2km long and with seven checkpoints it provided enough distance that any mishaps within the leading pack were going to be punished. Overall leader Rachid El Morabity won the stage by eleven minutes, but it wasn’t from a fellow Moroccan, it was from Britain’s Thomas Evans who had an outstanding stage to take second place (must be the highest placing Brit ever!). In third place Mohamed El Morabity now has a thirteen-minute gap on fourth placed Abdelaziz Baghazza. Strong contender for the podium this year was Abdelkader El Mouaziz but he dropped out at the fifth checkpoint to end his 2017 MDS campaign.
Overall Rachid El Morabity extended his lead to thirteen minutes from second place Mohamed El Morabity. Thomas Evans is now in third five minutes behind and has a forty-eight minutes lead on fourth placed Baghazza.
|1st||Rachid El Morabity||8:16:14|
|3rd||Mohamed El Morabity||8:28:33|
Andy Symonds ran for most of the stage with fellow Brit Damian Hall and finished the stage together with less than a second splitting them. But in contrast just look at Thomas Evans time for the stage, a full two hours ahead …. what a stellar performance.
Andy Symonds lies second overall in the Top Brit table. Evans 16:33:13, Symonds 18:48:43 and Hall 20:12:56.
France’s Nathalie Mauclair managed to grab 90 seconds from Sweden’s Elisabet Barnes in this long stage. Barnes remained solid and tracked Mauclair throughout the course of the stage always within two minutes. Barnes overall lead is twenty-three minutes so a similar performance tomorrow in the marathon long stage will secure victory.
Brazil’s Fernanda Maciel ran strong securing third place in the stage and overall and she has almost a two cushion to fourth place Emilie Lecomte who also finished fourth in the long stage.
|1st||Nathalie Mauclair||9:39:58||9th overall|
|2nd||Elisabet Barnes||9:41:16||11th overall|
|3rd||Fernanda Maciel||10:00:58||12th overall|
Emilie Lecomte 11:10:17
Melanie Rousset 11:27:03
Aziza Raji 12:00:13
A solid performance in this long stage from Jennifer Hill will secure her top Brit.