05 Leg 12021-09-07T11:26:05+02:00





IDEAL DISTANCE 110km + 30km liaison


IDEAL DISTANCE 110km + 30km liaison


Not all teams have made it back yet! We’re waiting to see which Gazelles have decided to set up camp in the open desert…

It remains to be seen if they intend to return to the bivouac, or sleep out in the desert…

Some teams are determined to make CP7 before it closes at 9 o’clock despite the encroaching darkness of the desert.

Some teams seem to have decided to spend the night out in the open desert and finish the leg tomorrow as soon as the sun comes up, to avoid driving too many extra kilometres…

There’s just one hour left to reach CP7… impossible for all the teams at the back of the pack…

It’s time for Clémence and Marie-Laure to head for the bivouac, which is about 20 kilometres from their current location…

About one hundred teams have reached the bivouac… which means that there are still around fifty that aren’t back yet!

A number of teams are still in the vicinity of CP4, which has been closed since 6:30 p.m. They have 45 minutes left before the closing of CP5 and CP6. The last checkpoint closes at 9 p.m.

Armelle and Tiffany received a call from Rally HQ telling them to stop heading north-east.

The Gazelles don’t have much time left before CP4 closes! Time is of the essence for the back of the pack, while some teams have already crossed the finish line!

Several teams are in Rissani, a village that features nowhere in today’s road books… Did the Gazelles want to do a bit of shopping?!

They were indeed stuck in the sand! Angélique and Mélissa are back on track.

Team 20 has already checked off all its CPs and is now heading for the bivouac.

In light of the map, looks like they’re stuck in the sand…

  • Most teams are between CP3 and CP4, on the eastern section of the route.
  • A dozen teams are halfway through, between checkpoints 4 and 5.

Were the Gazelles not paying attention during Ludo’s briefing this morning? The Sports Director warned them that they would be close to the Algerian border… And yet, may have been contacted by Rally HQ asking them to stop driving east.

And now it’s Team 147’s turn to receive the famous call from Rallye HQ telling them to turn back…

Nathalie and Marie were contacted by Rally HQ as they approached the wall marking the border with Algeria. “Turn around, head west”, Ludo and Max told them.

The wind has risen out on the course of this first leg, adding an extra challenge.

All teams have passed their first checkpoint!

Teams 30, 39, 44 and 47 seem to have eaten lunch together. The Gazelles met up after CP3 and are new heading for CP4.

  • The leaders are approaching CP3.
  • Most teams are in the vicinity of their second checkpoints.
  • A dozen teams are close to the first checkpoints.

It’s getting a little crowded at the third checkpoints of the different routes. Most Gazelles are between CP2 and CP3.

Following an intervention from the technical assistance team, the Gazelles of Team 241 are stuck again…

“Bonjour, il est 5 heures”… and so the morning ritual begins!

It’s a routine that runs like clockwork. Wakeup call. Pack up tent and sleeping bags, go get the vehicle. Load up the gear and place the vehicle in the right line. Breakfast. Briefing, and then it’s the start line and the adventure begins for the Gazelles.

Unlike the prologue, this time every extra kilometre will count. It’s time to get serious !

Today’s route features, 7 checkpoints on the wide plains of Hassi Beraber, under the watchful eye of Hamada du Guir on one side and the monumental Erg Chebbi on the other. The Gazelles will take on rolling terrain marked by a few low hilly zones and a first taste of sandy oueds.

It may seem simple at first, but that’s just a mirage, because the map of the area is not that easy to read. The terrain is relatively straightforward, but it is very easy to lose one’s bearings, as the circle representing one’s approximate position on the map inexorably widens…
So much for extra kilometres… the first red wind flags with the gazelle’s head should make the day’s challenges well worthwhile.

First return to the bivouac (well, maybe not for everyone) and first evening routine. A visit to the “P’tits gris” in the ranking office. Set up the tent. Visit the mechanics. Prepare the maps for tomorrow’s leg. A bit of relaxation at the bar. Dinner and then time for bed and a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow is another day…

By the way, something new has been added to the rules for this 30th anniversary edition : le POWER STAGE. For each competition class (except E-Gazelles Buggy/Prototype) and for each leg, the top three teams will receive a bonus: 2 kilometres for the first, 1 kilometre for the second, and 0,5 kilometres for the third.
These bonus kilometres will be deducted from their total kilometre score, not on the ranking for the leg in question, but for the general ranking. In short, it offers a way to make up for a few penalty kilometres.
The purpose of the POWER STAGE is to reward risk-taking. It’s no longer just a question of observing their opponents and managing their lead! A sort of bonus for those who dare…


Returning Gazelles in a strong position after the first leg


Rankings - Leg 1


Best photos of Leg 1


The Rallye has finally begun!


Down to serious business!