Pal Anders Ullevalseter wins stage eight of the Africa Eco Race while offering an incredible hand of sportsmanship to rally leader Gev Sella.
- Stage 8: Tiwilit —Azougui
- Stage: 453km
- Special Stage: 425km
The eighth stage between Tiwilit and Azougui did not show major difficulties. Yet a lot of things happened, leading to the modification of the temporary podiums, both in motorcycles and cars. More than ever this ninth edition is open and with three days from the end it’s still to play for.
Throughout his long career, Pal Anders Ullevalseter has always been a model of fair play. He has just demonstrated it on stage eight’s 425 kilometres between Elb Jraik and Azougui.
Starting in front, the Norwegian was quickly caught up and then overtaken by Gev Sella. The young Israeli gapped a little more than 8 minutes on his opponent. Unfortunately, at CP3, the KTM of Sella stopped out of fuel. A real disaster for the leader of the event.
But since the first edition of the AFRICA ECO RACE, we no longer count the acts of solidarity between participants and even between opponents. That's the unique atmosphere of the AFRICA ECO RACE. Even today, the bikes category has not escaped to the rule since Pal Anders Ullevalseter stopped to give a hand to Gev Sella.
A gesture that the Norwegian commented on arrival…
"I stopped naturally, as I always do to help a biker with a problem. I gave him a little bit of fuel. I could see in his eyes that he wanted more but it was not possible because I had to think of myself. He managed to finish, it's the main thing!"
The two-time winner of the event is a real gentleman!
Following this incident, Gev Sella, had to roll slowly to reach the finish, losing 13'23'' on Pal Anders Ullevalseter who won his second consecutive special stage victory.
Harite Gabari, which we had twice announced out of race yesterday by error as on the AFRICA ECO RACE this penalty arrives only after three uncommitted stages. The Moroccan got a magnificent third place at 15’54''.
Aleksandr Maksimov with his Quad YAMAHA is still in the leading group with the Russian finished 7th at 56’09''.
Each day is bringing its share of bad news, Paolo Ceci that has not escaped to the rule. The Italian broke the clutch of his Honda Africa Twin just before the CP1 and he will therefore return on a Balai Truck.
In the overall standings, Gev Sella retains the leadership but he sees Pal Anders Ullevalseter is now back back at 36'24''.
For the third step of the podium, nothing is yet played between Martin Benko, Stefano Pelloni and Jan Zatko, separated by about thirty minutes.
This 2017 AFRICA ECO RACE is definitely more and more exciting and the next two days could still bring some twists, as was the case over the last two editions.
Wednesday, January 11, the ninth stage will lead the AFRICA ECO RACE to Akjoujt. Assistance vehicles will only have 200 kilometres to complete. On the other hand, for the competitors, the special stage long of 391 kilometres should be plenty of navigation and especially tricky due to the heat and the wind present at the moment in this region of Mauritania.