Vehicles, cars and bikes have been embarked last week in Genoa, ready to leave for Alexandria in Egypt. Only two weeks to go for the twelfth edition of Pharaons International Cross Country Rally, all is ready and the list of pilots is lined for JVD International. Bikes at the start are 75, a number equal to those at Sardinia Rally Race, but definitely over the other extra-European races of World Championship. The best evidence that Pharaons is the most beautiful race, the most longed for, the only one offering an exceptional location, with the start at Giza Pyramids and three thousands kilometres of desert always changing, a variety of landscapes and situations that you can find only in Egypt. And how to avoid our attention on Cyril Despres presence? The French champion lives in Andora, he's leading the World classification, while he's been away from Egypt since 2004 and doesn't want to miss this year. He's obviously the favourite, but he'll find other pilots to cast the challenge on him, even if his main competitor Marc Coma is not there.


The news is "hot", the real surprise at Pharaons 2009 is Francisco "Chaleco" Lopez, the strong Chilean pilot takes in the race the Aprilia RXV 450 Africa of Giofil Aprilia Team, definitely positioning as a matter of fact as one of the most fearful competitor of Despres.

Among the most credited pilots we can't miss the Polish Jaceck Czachor (KTM) and Jakub Przygonski (KTM), the Portuguese Helder Rodriguez (Yamaha), the French Olivier Pain (Yamaha), as well as the Italians Alex Zanotti (Aprilia), Paolo Ceci (Aprilia), Luca Manca (KTM) and Oscar Polli (KTM).

Among cars we're missing our last two editions' champion, Christian Lavieille, and the favourite becomes without doubt the Bowler Wildcat of Jerome Pelichet/Eugenie Decr0x00e9, absolute third in the previous two Pharaons races. With the same English vehicles, now committed in the Wild Cat QT Service Trophy, there are the French Visy/Bourquin and the Italians Roberto and Nicola Tonetti. Keep an eye on the un-missable twins Aldo and Dario De Lorenzo, driving an Isuzu D-Max, as well as on Antonio Manfrinato and Monica Buonamano over Nissan Pick-up. Quite numerous the Egyptian part of the race, led by the strong Abdelhamin Abouyoussef driving a buggy Renault. The great novelty of the JVD International's Rally is the Pharaons Classic, strategy and ability race which takes place on the same tracks of the real Rally which has as much as 31 teams. The appointment is below the Pyramids on October 4th, with the first stage of Pharaons 2009, which takes toward the first bivouac in Baharija Oasis from the Egyptian capital.


An important "birthday" for two "actors" of the Pharaons ; Daniele Cotto and Franco Picco celebrate their 25th Pharaons. The first one has lived half of them as a pilot and half as an organizer, growing the race year by year up to take it at its old splendour. The "stainless" Picco on the other hand has never missed the wish to compete by car or by bike, he's solid presence at Pharaons since a quarter of a century!

FROM CHINA TO ... PAHRAON Most probably is the "absolute" first time : a bike "made in China" at the start in an African Rally. We're talking about two AXY, appositely prepared by the Team Sahara and taken in race by Massimiliano Mangano and Emile Castelnuovo. The first drives the 250 cc model, the second the new liquid cooled 400.


We cannot miss the DJ ringo at the Pharaons 2009 DJ Ringo, his real name being Anaclerio Rocco, now a real "affectionate" of the race of JVD International. Ringo is at his fourth participation and his new adventure can be listened on the frequencies of Virgin Radio, him being its Art Director.


4/10 Cairo-Baharija: Km 410
5/10 Baharija-Dakhla: Km 433
6/10 Dakhla-Abu Mingar: Km 356
7/10 Abu Mingar-Baharija: Km 428
8/10 Baharija-Sitra: Km 381
9/10 Sitra-Baharija: Km 431
10/10 Baharija-Cairo: Km 395

TOTAL: 2,834 Km

-credit: pharaons