Win of Stage in Sight - Luc Alphand Second on BMW X5 75 cars were at the start of stage eleven today in the morning at nine o'clock local time (distance 568 kilometres, including 438 km special stage), where at the end the Oasis of Siwa and a ...
Win of Stage in Sight - Luc Alphand Second on BMW X5
75 cars were at the start of stage eleven today in the morning at nine o'clock local time (distance 568 kilometres, including 438 km special stage), where at the end the Oasis of Siwa and a well-deserved day of rest was waiting.
At first, a thrilling competition of four teams took place, with both X-raid BMW pilots Luc Alphand and Gregoire de Mevius being well involved. Luc Alphand at control point two was on the point of winning, with only ten seconds difference on leader Stephane Peterhansel (Mitsubishi). The first win of a stage was well in reach for the X-raid pilot with the mighty BMW X5. At the end the French did not exactly succeed to win, but felt very happy about a second place in the day classification. He was only 1:30 minutes after today's winner Stephane Peterhansel, who one more time made the pace with the Mitsubishi. Gregoire de Mevius on the second X-raid BMW well contributed to the thrill of this stage. With only 14 seconds delay on third-placed Masuoka (Mitsubishi) he took forth place and completed this outstanding team result of the X-raid band from Trebur (near Frankfurt). In the total classification the Belgian defended his third place, now being 37 minutes ahead of J.P. Fontenay (Mitsubishi); Luc Alphand could again improve in the total classification and is now ranking 16th.
Team manager Sven Quandt, too, was very delighted: "There is only one word to describe the performance of Gregoire and Luc: Excellent! With our achievements so far, we and our sponsors, e.g. Delsey and Frisk, are more than satisfied. Our main aim is now to keep this level until we reach the finishing line. This will not be an easy task at all, considering that we still have more than 4000 kilometres to go, on the other hand we can still improve and to win a stage is realistic."
At about 16:45 o'clock today an incident at the borderline from Libya to Egypt made it impossible for a number of teams to reach the finish of stage eleven at Siwa. A service truck of the KTM motorbike team, participating in the truck classification, had obviously been hit by a mine in the border area. According to a statement of the organizer, fortunately all three members of the crew remained unhurt and only the vehicle was damaged. In agreement with the Egyptian authorities the organizers after that stopped continuation of the rally for all participants and service teams which had not reached the border section so far. A bivouac was arranged where about 70 participants of the car-, truck- and bike category and a number of service cars will stay until tomorrow. They will carry on to Siwa at daybreak after a thorough examination of the area by the Egyptian authorities.