There are two ways to get to Chinguetti: a freshly graded super-piste or an old mountain road used since ancient times. Guess which route did the competitors take during Stage 9? If you guessed that we send them on the narrowest, gnarliest, most exposed goat path imaginable you are correct. The crumbling road tested trail skills of those who dared to challenge it and close encounters between sharp rock and soft body parts were common. Second part of the stage was a lot more sane selection of fast piste and luxurious dunes ending at the bivouac on the outskirts of the UNESCO World Heritage Site and the center of islamic learning Chinguetti.
Antonio Valero won the stage for his first win of the campaign with Victor Rivera and Julian Merino hot on his tail. Lukas Cerny struggled with his large KTM 690 and lost enough time to drop out of the top 3. In the cars Glad edged out Wings 2 to solidify its lead in the standings. Second in the standings remain Rally for Africa but Wings 2 must be making them nervous trailing 62 minutes back. Erik Lesak and Jose Sanchez finished the stage together and remain leaders of their respective classes.
Tomorrow Stage 10 heads south to Akjoujt and will present more opportunities to mix up the standings.