Africa Eco Race, a desert rally race that ran parallel to Rally Dakar, has finished last week with Italian Alessandro Botturi winning the overall, Norwegian Pal Ander Ullevasleter taking the second place, and Brit Lyndon Poskitt coming in third. According to the organizers, the atmosphere at the Lake Lac Rose bivoauc next to the monument for Thierry Sabine, the founder of the original Rally Dakar, was unforgettable this year as the competitors finished the last special stage. Nicola Dutto’s Africa Eco Race finish was especially emotional, as the paraplegic rider finished the entire 6,000 kilometer route from Monaco to Senegal.

Africa Eco Race Finish Podium in Dakar ADV Rider

The race vehicles are already being unloaded from the cargo ship back in Southern France, and the AER organizers are back at work planning the 2021 edition. In total, 66 riders have finished this year’s Africa Eco Race, with European riders dominating the top ten:

Pos pgr # Nat. Pilots Team Make Grp/Pos Cl/Pos Scratch Diff 1st Pena
1 Progresssion0 101 ita BOTTURI Alessandro BOTTURI YAMAHA / -450 / 1 48:47:30
2 Progresssion0 106 nor ULLEVALSETER Pal Anders TEAM ULLEVALSETER KTM / -450 / 2 48:51:29 00:03:59
3 Progresssion+1 100 gbr POSKITT Lyndon LYNDON POSKITT RACING – TEAM RACES TO PLACES KTM / -450 / 3 49:39:26 00:51:56
4 Progresssion-1 151 ita LUCCI Paolo SOLARYS RACING Husqvarna / -450 / 4 49:43:02 00:55:32 00h13
5 Progresssion0 112 svk BENKO Martin NORWIT RACING KTM / -450 / 5 54:11:17 05:23:47
6 Progresssion0 120 pol CZACHOR Jacek FARMAPROM DUUST TEAM KTM / -450 / 6 54:23:10 05:35:40 02h00
7 Progresssion0 102 aus SUTHERLAND Matt LYNDON POSKITT RACING – TEAM RACES TO PLACES KTM / -450 / 7 54:33:29 05:45:59 -01h41
8 Progresssion0 123 pol DABROWSKI Konrad MLEKOVITA DUUST TEAM KTM / -450 / 8 55:23:37 06:36:07 02h00
9 Progresssion0 118 pol STASIACZEK Pawel FARMAPROM DUUST TEAM ktm / -450 / 9 55:49:55 07:02:25 00h02
10 Progresssion0 185 ita GRITTI Giovanni RSMOTO HONDA RACING TEAM HONDA / -450 / 10 56:24:33 07:37:03

While most of the elite factory riders still choose Rally Dakar over AER, and this isn’t likely to change in the coming years, Africa Eco Race is the only desert rally attempting to compete with the Dakar. Following the original Paris-Dakar route, the AER might not be a real threat to Rally Dakar just yet, but as the event grows each year, it’s becoming a more and more intriguing contender.

Africa Eco Race Finish Podium in Dakar ADV Rider

To find out what it’s like to race the AER as a privateer, follow Lyndon Poskitt’s excellent video diary of the race – so far the best Africa Eco Race media out there:

Images: Africa Eco Race

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