Friday, January 11, 2002
Stage 14 - Tichit to Kiffa
Marathon Two, Part I

The first part (stage) of the second marathon has been hard on the drivers and the teams. Roma crashed and has received medical assitance. Meoni has a large lead and then gets lost. Many miss the PC1 and will receive a two-hour penalty. Sousa got stuck (no word if he continued yet).
[ Editor's note.]

Following is the newsflash update:

16:06 Meoni agony
Bikes: 21kms from the finish, Fabrizio Meoni (No. 1) is a little lost. He asked some Mauritanians the way on two occasions and found a small rocky barrier in front, which he needs to get around to continue.

15:50 Kleinschmidt second
Cars: Jutta Kleinschmidt (No. 200) is, at the moment, second in the overall classification. She passed PC3 at 14h 01m59s, and Kenjiro Shinozuka at 14h08m03s, was 6m02s after. The German left two minutes after him and the Japanese is, in effect, 8m 02s behind. In the overall classification, that means a lead for Jutta of 7m 49s.

15:44 Cars/Bikes/Trucks
It has been decided that missing the secret PC1, situated at the 129 kms point, will mean a two-hour penalty. Carlo de Gavardon (No. 3) and Giovanni Sala (No. 7) are two of the group who will have to cope with this penalty.

15:26 Cars-bikes-trucks: The situation at 14.00
At PC1, 65 bikes, 38 cars and 7 trucks have passed; at PC2, 67 bikes and 18 cars; at PC3, nine bikes and 1 car.

14:58 Arcarons OK at PC1
Bikes: Jordi Arcarons (No. 2) has finally passed PC1 (secret control), but in 29th position, and more than 1h 40m (1h 43m 48s) behind the first bike of Fabrizio Meoni (No. 1).

14:29 Sousa is stuck
Cars - Around 5 kms after PC2, at the 160 kms point, Carlos Sousa (No. 204) is stuck after having pushed so well this morning. He is in the process of freeing the L200 with his co-driver.

14:26 Meoni far ahead
Bikes: At PC2, Alfie Cox (No. 5), ninth and first of the riders to have turned around to rejoin the correct track, is around 37 minutes behind Fabrizio Meoni (No. 1). Richard Sainct (No. 6), second, is 9m 42s behind Meoni.

13:04 'Shino' all alone also
Cars - No. 201 and 207 have lost around 15 minutes by committing the same mistake as the bike riders at the 41.4 kms point. Two competitors only have taken the correct stage, No. 210 (Shinozuka) and 200 (Kleinschmidt).

13:04 Meoni all alone
Bikes: No. 1 (Meoni) appeared at PC3 after No. 3 (De Gavardo), but it is reasonable to assume that he passed the secret PC which preceded it. Actually, Meoni was before Sainct by around 18 minutes. No. 139 (Pierre Quinonero) was third. Alfie Cox (No. 5) is in the process of rejoining the bad track to enable him to rejoin the good one and is following a little further behind No. 4 (Esteve Pujol).

13:04 Roma crashes and stops
Joan Roma (No. 9) has crashed in a dead end (cul-de-sac). He is tired and is showing signs of hyperthermia, hyperventilation and headaches. He will be taken in hand by the medical assistance vehicle.

13:03 Meoni alone on the stage
Bikes: At the 41.4 kms point, a group of competitors embarked on a bad track, with the exception of Fabrizio Meoni (No. 1) and, a little later, Richard Sainct (No. 6). At the 100 kms point, Meoni was on the top of a ridge and Roma was in the valley.