Hi everybody- Not sure if I should have put this in Europe, Africa, or where, but this seems like a likely enough place to look for it. I'm going to use this space to write about the experience- let you guys know whats going on over there. Will probably make a similar one over at Xplor and cross pollinate posts, since the audiences seem to be different. Hopefully Jim Stoddard and Brad Hendry (my USA teammates) will chime in when they have a chance, and hopefully we'll get some internet access out in the wilderness to let you all know how its going. The whole gig is kind of a black box for us- we know almost nothing of what to expect, other than we're going to be expected to ride hard. They say it will not be a speed race, but lengthy and challenging GS ride with specials thrown in along the way. In my imagination I see us having a start line somewhere, and a finish line a hundred miles away, and somewhere in the middle is a river with no bridge. First one to the finish wins. Good fantasy, eh? We're being issued tents and sleeping bags and we'll be camping most of the time although we're presuming there will be a bivouac type compound to stay at, where we'll get food, etc. We're all planning on travelling really light- taking only about 7 pairs of underwear and living out of our Rallye suits Anyway we have very little idea what to expect, but a lot of determination and we're all terrifically psyched. Leaving in 3 sleeps as of this writing. We'll arrive in Milan on Tuesday, and greet each other, the other teams- of which there are 4; (Spain, Germany, Italy and Japan- each of which has three members) and the bikes, all of which are identically prepped F800GS's with lots of Touratech farkles and Karoo tires. The next day we transit to Genoa and get on a ferry, which we presume will travel overnight across the Mediterranean, and arrive in Tunis on Thursday AM, from which point we will begin immediately. They say for us to expect at least one special test per day, and I think we are going to cover somewhere between 2000-2500 miles in 9 or 10 days. I think we've got a team strong enough to meet almost anything. Brad and Jim are both exceptional riders. I am incredibly proud to ride with them, and to have this chance in life! I plan on busting my ass to make all the folks who missed their chance at this years event proud of us, also. Hopefully with our intel provided this year, next years team will more know what to expect and plan for. I have a feeling they will be stepping up the challenge next year, after they see how this one goes. OK. Lets RoLL!