PLAGE BLANCHE > ICHT
Stage 1 - april 17th 2017
Stage 1: 387 kms
The opening stage of this Morocco Desert Challenge is one for the big boys straight away. Today's route offers a wonderful variety of technical and fast tracks with one thing in common: they cross magnificent landscapes.
After an impressive start of 25 kms flat out on the beach, we leave Plage Blanche with a left turn into the canyon, to conquer twelve breath-taking kilometres through a wandering oued.
From the moment you leave the oued you will find a very nice piste, fast, winding, usually good surface with some stones now and then. A guaranteed pleasure to ride on.
At km 65 you will find CP1 located at the crossing of a road. You will only get your stamp when it is save to cross.
After CP1 you will have lovely paths through the hills and a long drive in a oued: wonderful tracks and not too difficult.
From CP3 on you enter one of the few less pleasant parts: 25 kms with quite some stones. The slower competitors and the ones with standard cars might encounter some shaking. You will also find a few hills on your way: take care in descending. It will certainly not be the fastest part of the day, but it is a nice for a change on the rest of the stage.
From km 132 to km 142 we return to the fast and wide piste. There are a lot of so called "radiers": concrete slabs in river crossings, where you will have to go down and up again. Some of these slabs are damaged, so please beware of holes and cracks and pay attention!
The piste goes straight, with sharp unexpected turns all of a sudden. If you enter full throttle, you might run into big trouble. Be very careful. If you can't see what is behind a hill: slow down.
Once you have made it through this part, you have had the worst of the stage. Until km 185 you will find a nice variety of tracks: mostly sandy, a bit of stones, a small salt lake.
We pass at the edge of the oued draa. Because of the battered terrain the pace will not be very high, but with the beauty of the surroundings you will certainly not mind that. At km 185 you will cross the oued.
When approaching the village of Assa, the ground is a bit rocky. In Assa you will cross the asphalt road and continue in the direction of Icht on a stony piste east of the road. You cross the road again and continue on the west side. At this stage the surroundings are much nicer and again the pace is bit less.
At the end of this long first day we will be awaiting you at the bivouac of Borj Biramane in Icht. The start has been made!