It looks strange there is no thread abouth this rally, which is starting in about one week entry list showed up yesterday I'm very surprised to see Paolo Ceci confirmed, but of course also very glad ... just hope is not a joke

I have a couple of friends racing whom I met at Serres this year, Guillaume (#122) and Martin (#105), and of course Tony's dad (#115) is racing it as well Hoping they all do well, I am going to be trying -in vain- to keep up to date with this race as it is gathering quite a bit of momentum I spoke to Martin about a week ago and convinced him to try and keep notes to do a feature for Tales From The Bivouac #3, curious to hear his impressions

As former concurrents in the bike section (2009 - 1st edition) obviously I'm still tuned on Africa Race frequency... A lot of car/truck. More bike than ever, increasing year by year. Believe me, it's a REAL RACE, not an holiday. And the FINISH LINE is on the PINK LAKE!!! W AFRICA RACE!!! C'mon Paolo (Ceci) let's have another italian victory (Capodacqua 2010 + Polli 2012)!!!

I've been meaning to start a thread for this, thanks Gian Yep, it's my dads 3rd time doing this event. He wasn't in fact going to do it this year. Another friend (Guillaume Martens) had expressed interest in the race and was given my dads contact details for some inquiries. After explaining the whole nature of the event to him, he wa hooked. So now they're both going. The bikes are ready, I finished prepping Guillaumes 690RR a few days ago. My dad will be running a newer WR450F, alu framed with front and rear tanks. Both will obviously be running RNS equipment I'll post some pics before we leave to France and southern Spain this Wednesday. PS: Not looking forward to the 4400km drive with the car and trailer, going to be a real PITA, literally! PPS: #111 is the actor of the famous Austrian TV show "Komissar Rex"!

I finally found the dates for this edition: PROGRAM Thursday 27th December 2012 ADMINISTRATIVE AND TECHNICAL VERIFICATIONS AT SAINT CYPRIEN (FRANCE) Friday 28th December 2012 TRANSFER TO ALMERIA (SPAIN) Saturday 29th December 2012 STAGE N° 1 NADOR / BOUDENIB: 658 km LIAISON: NADOR / AIN BENIMATHAR: 223 km SPECIAL: AIN BENIMATHAR / BOUARFA: 245 km LIAISON: BOUARFA / BOUDENIB: 190 km Sunday 30th December 2012 STAGE N° 2 BOUDENIB / TAGOUNITE: 432 km SPECIAL: BOUDENIB / TAGOUNITE: 409 km LIAISON: TAGOUNITE / TAGOUNITE: 22 km Monday 31st December 2012 STAGE N° 3 TAGOUNITE / OUED DRAA: 525 km SPECIAL: TAGOUNITE / ICHT: 433 km LIAISON: ICHT / OUED DRAA: 92 km Tuesday 1st January 2013 STAGE N° 4 OUED DRAA / GWIRAT LARJAM: 451 km SPECIAL: OUED DRAA / AS SKAN: 343 km LIAISON: AS SKAN / GWIRAT LARJAM: 108 km Wednesday 2nd January 2013 STAGE N° 5: OUED HAMRA / DAKHLA: 689 km TRANSFER: 5 km SPECIAL: OUED HAMRA / BOUJDOUR: 331 km LIAISON: BOUJDOUR / DAKHLA: 352 km Thursday 3rd January 2013 REST DAY AT DAKHLA Friday 4th January 2013 STAGE N° 6 DAKHLA / CHAMI: 574 km LIAISON: DAKHLA / PK 55: 372 km SPECIAL: PK 55 / CHAMI: 161 km LIAISON: CHAMI / CHAMI: 41 km Saturday 5th January 2013 STAGE N° 7: CHAMI / AKJOUJT: 646 km TRANSFER: 1 km SPECIAL: CHAMI / AZOUGUI: 437 km LIAISON: AZOUGUI / AKJOUJT: 209 km Sunday 6th January 2013 STAGE N° 8: AKJOUJT/ AKJOUJT: 477 km LIAISON: AKJOUJT / TOURFINE EL KHADRA: 157 km SPECIAL: TOURFINE EL KHADRA / AKJOUJT: 320 km Monday 7th January 2013 STAGE N° 9: AKJOUJT / TENADI: 459 km SPECIAL: AKJOUJT / AOULEIGAT: 441 km LIAISON: AOULEIGAT / TENADI: 18 km Tuesday 8th January 2013 STAGE N° 10: TENADI / KOBA: 648 km SPECIAL: TENADI / HASSEI EL BAGRA: 196 km LIAISON: HASSEI EL BAGRA / KOBA: 452 km Wednesday 9th January 2013 STAGE N° 11: KOBA / DAKAR: 236 km LIAISON: KOBA / KAYAR: 171 km SPECIAL: KAYAR / LAC ROSE: 24 km TRANSFER: LAC ROSE / DAKAR: 41 km Seems like a good opportunity to flex the F5 skills before the big one on Jan 5th

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/lZfTadSi78M" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Martin at the start and Guillaume: Unfortunately haven't found any photos of Thomas (Tony's dad) yet. Wishing them all good luck and a safe race

Live tracking is up over here Unfortunately I am taking off for the weekend so will have limiteds time to catch up over my phone...

first stage classification <TABLE class=titre><TBODY><TR><TD class=etape colSpan=2>Classement Général - 29/12/2012</TD><TD class=nbcc>25 concurrent(s) classé(s)</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><TABLE class=classement><TBODY><TR><TH align=middle>Pos</TH><TH align=middle>pgr</TH><TH align=middle>N°</TH><TH align=middle>Nat.</TH><TH align=middle>Pilotes</TH><TH class=marque align=middle>Marque</TH><TH align=middle>Grp/Pos</TH><TH align=middle>Cl/Pos</TH><TH align=middle>Scratch</TH><TH align=middle>Diff 1er</TH><TH align=middle>Péna</TH></TR><TR id=premier><TD class=pos>1</TD><TD class=pgr></TD><TD class=numcc>106</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>TURCHI Stefano</TD><TD>KTM</TD><TD>+450 / 1</TD><TD>/ 1</TD><TD class=scratch>05:44:36</TD><TD></TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR bgColor=#3f3f3f><TD class=pos>2</TD><TD class=pgr></TD><TD class=numcc>114</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>PALACIOS Joseph</TD><TD>KTM</TD><TD>450 / 1</TD><TD>/ 1</TD><TD class=scratch>05:51:01</TD><TD>00:06:25</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR><TD class=pos>3</TD><TD class=pgr></TD><TD class=numcc>123</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>FRAUWALLNER Helly</TD><TD>YAMAHA</TD><TD>450 / 2</TD><TD>/ 2</TD><TD class=scratch>05:52:20</TD><TD>00:07:44</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR bgColor=#3f3f3f><TD class=pos>4</TD><TD class=pgr></TD><TD class=numcc>105</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>RABENLEHNER Martin</TD><TD>KTM</TD><TD>+450 / 2</TD><TD>/ 1</TD><TD class=scratch>05:53:06</TD><TD>00:08:30</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR><TD class=pos>5</TD><TD class=pgr></TD><TD class=numcc>122</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>MARTENS Guillaume</TD><TD>KTM</TD><TD>+450 / 3</TD><TD>/ 2</TD><TD class=scratch>05:53:39</TD><TD>00:09:03</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR bgColor=#3f3f3f><TD class=pos>6</TD><TD class=pgr></TD><TD class=numcc>169</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>FONTYN Martin</TD><TD>KTM</TD><TD>+450 / 4</TD><TD>/ 3</TD><TD class=scratch>05:54:33</TD><TD>00:09:57</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR><TD class=pos>7</TD><TD class=pgr></TD><TD class=numcc>121</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>HETZENAUER Josef</TD><TD>KTM</TD><TD>+450 / 5</TD><TD>/ 4</TD><TD class=scratch>05:56:06</TD><TD>00:11:30</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR bgColor=#3f3f3f><TD class=pos>8</TD><TD class=pgr></TD><TD class=numcc>120</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>PELZMANN Klaus</TD><TD>YAMAHA</TD><TD>450 / 3</TD><TD>/ 3</TD><TD class=scratch>05:56:58</TD><TD>00:12:22</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR><TD class=pos>9</TD><TD class=pgr></TD><TD class=numcc>117</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>ARNOULT Patrick</TD><TD>HONDA</TD><TD>450 / 4</TD><TD>/ 1</TD><TD class=scratch>05:57:10</TD><TD>00:12:34</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR bgColor=#3f3f3f><TD class=pos>10</TD><TD class=pgr></TD><TD class=numcc>101</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>DUBOIS Norbert</TD><TD>KTM</TD><TD>+450 / 6</TD><TD>/ 2</TD><TD class=scratch>06:01:31</TD><TD>00:16:55</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR><TD class=pos>11</TD><TD class=pgr></TD><TD class=numcc>118</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>POIZAT Patrick</TD><TD>BMW</TD><TD>450 / 5</TD><TD>/ 4</TD><TD class=scratch>06:04:04</TD><TD>00:19:28</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR bgColor=#3f3f3f><TD class=pos>12</TD><TD class=pgr></TD><TD class=numcc>115</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>SCHATTAT Thomas</TD><TD>YAMAHA</TD><TD>450 / 6</TD><TD>/ 5</TD><TD class=scratch>06:09:22</TD><TD>00:24:46</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR><TD class=pos>13</TD><TD class=pgr></TD><TD class=numcc>110</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>DI BATTISTA Luciano</TD><TD>HM</TD><TD>450 / 7</TD><TD>/ 2</TD><TD class=scratch>06:11:34</TD><TD>00:26:58</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR bgColor=#3f3f3f><TD class=pos>14</TD><TD class=pgr></TD><TD class=numcc>108</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>LOGGIA Marco</TD><TD>KTM</TD><TD>+450 / 7</TD><TD>/ 5</TD><TD class=scratch>06:14:45</TD><TD>00:30:09</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR><TD class=pos>15</TD><TD class=pgr></TD><TD class=numcc>111</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>MORETTI Tobias</TD><TD>KTM</TD><TD>450 / 8</TD><TD>/ 3</TD><TD class=scratch>06:17:53</TD><TD>00:33:17</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR bgColor=#3f3f3f><TD class=pos>16</TD><TD class=pgr></TD><TD class=numcc>112</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>SAUER Joachim</TD><TD>KTM</TD><TD>450 / 9</TD><TD>/ 4</TD><TD class=scratch>06:17:59</TD><TD>00:33:23</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR><TD class=pos>17</TD><TD class=pgr></TD><TD class=numcc>109</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>CUSUMANO Guido</TD><TD>YAMAHA</TD><TD>450 / 10</TD><TD>/ 6</TD><TD class=scratch>06:19:15</TD><TD>00:34:39</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR bgColor=#3f3f3f><TD class=pos>18</TD><TD class=pgr></TD><TD class=numcc>171</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>DALLA VALLE Stefano</TD><TD>KTM</TD><TD>Q / 1</TD><TD>/ 1</TD><TD class=scratch>06:20:10</TD><TD>00:35:34</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR><TD class=pos>19</TD><TD class=pgr></TD><TD class=numcc>102</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>CONREAU Christophe</TD><TD>HONDA</TD><TD>450 / 11</TD><TD>/ 7</TD><TD class=scratch>06:21:23</TD><TD>00:36:47</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR bgColor=#3f3f3f><TD class=pos>20</TD><TD class=pgr></TD><TD class=numcc>107</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>PROCACCINI Alfredo</TD><TD>KTM</TD><TD>450 / 12</TD><TD>/ 8</TD><TD class=scratch>06:23:16</TD><TD>00:38:40</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR><TD class=pos>21</TD><TD class=pgr></TD><TD class=numcc>104</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>KINIGADNER Klaus</TD><TD>KTM</TD><TD>450 / 13</TD><TD>/ 5</TD><TD class=scratch>06:23:33</TD><TD>00:38:57</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR bgColor=#3f3f3f><TD class=pos>22</TD><TD class=pgr></TD><TD class=numcc>170</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>CLAIR Emmanuelle</TD><TD>YAMAHA</TD><TD>Q / 2</TD><TD>/ 2</TD><TD class=scratch>06:24:13</TD><TD>00:39:37</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR><TD class=pos>23</TD><TD class=pgr></TD><TD class=numcc>103</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>BLOEB Gregor</TD><TD>KTM</TD><TD>450 / 14</TD><TD>/ 6</TD><TD class=scratch>06:25:00</TD><TD>00:40:24</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR bgColor=#3f3f3f><TD class=pos>24</TD><TD class=pgr></TD><TD class=numcc>125</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>LESAGE Pierre</TD><TD>KTM</TD><TD>+450 / 8</TD><TD>/ 6</TD><TD class=scratch>06:29:54</TD><TD>00:45:18</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR><TD class=pos>25</TD><TD class=pgr></TD><TD class=numcc>116</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>BOUCHET Pascal</TD><TD>KTM</TD><TD>450 / 15</TD><TD>/ 9</TD><TD class=scratch>06:34:32</TD><TD>00:49:56</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

<TABLE class=titre><TBODY><TR><TD colSpan=3>Etape 2 BOUDNIB / TAGOUNITE</TD></TR><TR><TD class=etape colSpan=2>Classement Général - 30/12/2012</TD><TD class=nbcc>20 concurrent(s) classé(s)</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><TABLE class=classement><TBODY><TR><TH align=middle>Pos</TH><TH align=middle>pgr</TH><TH align=middle>N°</TH><TH align=middle>Nat.</TH><TH align=middle>Pilotes</TH><TH class=marque align=middle>Marque</TH><TH align=middle>Grp/Pos</TH><TH align=middle>Cl/Pos</TH><TH align=middle>Scratch</TH><TH align=middle>Diff 1er</TH><TH align=middle>Péna</TH></TR><TR id=premier><TD class=pos>1</TD><TD class=pgr>0</TD><TD class=numcc>106</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>TURCHI Stefano</TD><TD>KTM</TD><TD>+450 / 1</TD><TD>/ 1</TD><TD class=scratch>08:06:13</TD><TD></TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR bgColor=#3f3f3f><TD class=pos>2</TD><TD class=pgr>+3</TD><TD class=numcc>169</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>FONTYN Martin</TD><TD>KTM</TD><TD>+450 / 2</TD><TD>/ 2</TD><TD class=scratch>08:35:50</TD><TD>00:29:37</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR><TD class=pos>3</TD><TD class=pgr>+3</TD><TD class=numcc>122</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>MARTENS Guillaume</TD><TD>KTM</TD><TD>+450 / 3</TD><TD>/ 3</TD><TD class=scratch>09:05:07</TD><TD>00:58:54</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR bgColor=#3f3f3f><TD class=pos>4</TD><TD class=pgr>+5</TD><TD class=numcc>117</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>ARNOULT Patrick</TD><TD>HONDA</TD><TD>450 / 1</TD><TD>/ 1</TD><TD class=scratch>09:14:13</TD><TD>01:08:00</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR><TD class=pos>5</TD><TD class=pgr>+5</TD><TD class=numcc>101</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>DUBOIS Norbert</TD><TD>KTM</TD><TD>+450 / 4</TD><TD>/ 1</TD><TD class=scratch>09:22:56</TD><TD>01:16:43</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR bgColor=#3f3f3f><TD class=pos>6</TD><TD class=pgr>-3</TD><TD class=numcc>123</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>FRAUWALLNER Helly</TD><TD>YAMAHA</TD><TD>450 / 2</TD><TD>/ 1</TD><TD class=scratch>09:22:56</TD><TD>01:16:43</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR><TD class=pos>7</TD><TD class=pgr>+14</TD><TD class=numcc>107</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>PROCACCINI Alfredo</TD><TD>KTM</TD><TD>450 / 3</TD><TD>/ 2</TD><TD class=scratch>09:28:08</TD><TD>01:21:55</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR bgColor=#3f3f3f><TD class=pos>8</TD><TD class=pgr>+3</TD><TD class=numcc>115</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>SCHATTAT Thomas</TD><TD>YAMAHA</TD><TD>450 / 4</TD><TD>/ 3</TD><TD class=scratch>09:29:20</TD><TD>01:23:07</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR><TD class=pos>9</TD><TD class=pgr>+10</TD><TD class=numcc>102</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>CONREAU Christophe</TD><TD>HONDA</TD><TD>450 / 5</TD><TD>/ 4</TD><TD class=scratch>09:30:52</TD><TD>01:24:39</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR bgColor=#3f3f3f><TD class=pos>10</TD><TD class=pgr>+7</TD><TD class=numcc>108</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>LOGGIA Marco</TD><TD>KTM</TD><TD>+450 / 5</TD><TD>/ 4</TD><TD class=scratch>09:34:45</TD><TD>01:28:32</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR><TD class=pos>11</TD><TD class=pgr>+14</TD><TD class=numcc>125</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>LESAGE Pierre</TD><TD>KTM</TD><TD>+450 / 6</TD><TD>/ 5</TD><TD class=scratch>09:38:41</TD><TD>01:32:28</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR bgColor=#3f3f3f><TD class=pos>12</TD><TD class=pgr>-8</TD><TD class=numcc>105</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>RABENLEHNER Martin</TD><TD>KTM</TD><TD>+450 / 7</TD><TD>/ 2</TD><TD class=scratch>09:40:25</TD><TD>01:34:12</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR><TD class=pos>13</TD><TD class=pgr>-1</TD><TD class=numcc>118</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>POIZAT Patrick</TD><TD>BMW</TD><TD>450 / 6</TD><TD>/ 5</TD><TD class=scratch>09:46:00</TD><TD>01:39:47</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR bgColor=#3f3f3f><TD class=pos>14</TD><TD class=pgr>+8</TD><TD class=numcc>104</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>KINIGADNER Klaus</TD><TD>KTM</TD><TD>450 / 7</TD><TD>/ 2</TD><TD class=scratch>10:07:08</TD><TD>02:00:55</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR><TD class=pos>15</TD><TD class=pgr>+8</TD><TD class=numcc>103</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>BLOEB Gregor</TD><TD>KTM</TD><TD>450 / 8</TD><TD>/ 3</TD><TD class=scratch>10:08:22</TD><TD>02:02:09</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR bgColor=#3f3f3f><TD class=pos>16</TD><TD class=pgr>-14</TD><TD class=numcc>114</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>PALACIOS Joseph</TD><TD>KTM</TD><TD>450 / 9</TD><TD>/ 6</TD><TD class=scratch>10:15:23</TD><TD>02:09:10</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR><TD class=pos>17</TD><TD class=pgr>-9</TD><TD class=numcc>120</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>PELZMANN Klaus</TD><TD>YAMAHA</TD><TD>450 / 10</TD><TD>/ 7</TD><TD class=scratch>10:29:44</TD><TD>02:23:31</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR bgColor=#3f3f3f><TD class=pos>18</TD><TD class=pgr>+6</TD><TD class=numcc>116</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>BOUCHET Pascal</TD><TD>KTM</TD><TD>450 / 11</TD><TD>/ 8</TD><TD class=scratch>12:02:18</TD><TD>03:56:05</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR><TD class=pos>19</TD><TD class=pgr>-5</TD><TD class=numcc>112</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>SAUER Joachim</TD><TD>KTM</TD><TD>450 / 12</TD><TD>/ 4</TD><TD class=scratch>12:45:43</TD><TD>04:39:30</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR><TR bgColor=#3f3f3f><TD class=pos>20</TD><TD class=pgr>-7</TD><TD class=numcc>111</TD><TD class=nat></TD><TD>MORETTI Tobias</TD><TD>KTM</TD><TD>450 / 13</TD><TD>/ 5</TD><TD class=scratch>12:46:37</TD><TD>04:40:24</TD><TD class=pena></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE> Already five people out