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The competitors took the start of the 188 km long special stage at the Jasmina lake in Merzouga for a big loop in the Erg Chebbi sand dunes. It was Xavier De Soultrait who opened the track, passing first at the CP1 and CP2. From km 100 he rode with his team mate Franco Caimi till he got a bit lost in the final part characterized by river bed crossings and barely visible tracks.
The French secured the victory of the second stage, followed by the Himoinsa rider Gerard Farres, the Italian Alessandro Botturi (Yamaha), Juan Pedrero (Sherco TVS) and Ivan Cervantes (KTM) respectively 3rd, 4th and 5th of the provisional classification.

“It was an emotional start this morning”

confessed De Soultrait,

“I have never opened the stage in the dunes before, so I’m really happy that I could manage the stress. The navigation was very difficult and you had to be careful to follow the road book. From km 100 I rode with Franco (Caimi). We helped each other a lot because team spirit is a priority in rally raid. This is not an individual sport”.

De Soultrait now leads the provisional overall in front of Farres and Botturi.
in the quad category the Russian Maksimov Aleksandr (Troyka Team) won the stage in front of Argentinian Jeremias Gonzalez, provisional leader of the overall and French Simon Vitse, second in the overall with Maksimov in third.
In the SxS category the winner of the SS1 #210 Medero-Martin opened the track in front of Rautenbach-Palmeiro, Labille-Niveveau, Henrichy –Bersey (winner of the 2016 edition) and Tonetti-Roman. At the end of the 188 km long stage it was Labille-Niveau who won the stage in front of Tonetti-Roman and Camelia Liparoti , 3rd at his debut in the SidebySide after 9 Dakar in quad. The provisional standing of the overall is: Labille-Niveau, Tonetti-Roman, Henrichy-Bersey.
Joel Labille (Motricity):

 “The night stage yesterday was really original and we enjoyed a lot, even if it was even more difficult for the nagivation. Today is was a beautiful stage with 2-3 points of really complicated navigation”.


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