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El Morabity and Barnes go large

Moroccan Rachid El Morabity and the Swede Elisabet Barnes have opened up their lead in style ahead of their respective rivals, both securing a fourth victory in four legs. “I’m very happy to win this long leg. I led from start to finish, picking up the pace after CP 7 so as to steal a bit of a march. It was important for me before tomorrow’s last 42km leg.” Behind him, his teammate Abdelkader El Mouaziz dug deep to complete the course in 8h47’42 just ahead of Aziz El Akad, 3rd. “Since yesterday, I’ve decided to switch strategy by setting my own, more economic pace right the way to the finish. I was good today and I’m proud to finish in 3rd place in this leg”, he admitted. However Jordanian, Salameh Al Aqra, third in the overall ranking before the long leg, has suffered. He finished in 8th place behind the top Moroccans, Spaniard, Chema Martinez (5th) and the two French runners Christophe Le Saux (6th) and Antoine Guillon (7th). Briton Danny Kendall secured 10th after a solid run. In the women’s category, this long leg will have cost the two favourites of this edition very dear. American Liza Howard (victim of gastric problems) and three-time event champion French runner Laurence Klein both certainly suffered in the long leg. The former found the soft sand really hard work and this is the first time she’s run with a pack, but she was spurred on by the support of the bivouac. Klein lost some 45 minutes stopping just before CP 5 to help a rival set off his distress beacon and staying with him until the arrival of the Doc Trotters. Briton Anne-Marie Watson and Russian Natalia Sedykh made the most of the situation to secure a podium place in this long leg. They finished 2nd and 3rd respectively just less than an hour shy of the Swedish runner, Elisabet Barnes, who signed her 4th leg win in a row. American Meghan Hicks made a great comeback in the long leg to secure 4th place in the overall ranking.

4th LEG - More

MEN

etape4-campagnie-mds2015-copyright-8 bassedef1. Rachid El Morabity (MAR), 8h39’49’’
2. Abdelkader El Mouaziz (MAR), 7’53’’ back
3. Aziz El Akad (MAR), 10’46’’ back
4. Samir Akhdar (MAR), 43’50’’ back
5. Chema Martinez (ESP), 47’31’’ back
6. Christophe Le Saux (FRA), 51’39’’ back
7. Antoine Guillon (FRA), 1h01’12’’ back
…10. Danny Kendall (GBR), 1h29’17” back

WOMEN

1. Elisabet Barnes (SUE), 11h29’03’’
2. Anne-Marie Watson (GBR), 49’56’’ back
3. Natalia Sedykh (RUS), 54’26’’ back

OVERALL RANKING

MEN

1. Rachid El Morabity (MAR), 16h58’40
2. Abdelkader El Mouaziz (MAR), 13’35’’ back
3. Aziz El Akad (MAR), 44’03’’ back
…8. Danny Kendall (GBR), 2h12’45 back

WOMEN

1. Elisabet Barnes (SUE), 22h30’22
2. Anne-Marie Watson (GBR), 2h44’40’’ back
3. Natalia Sedykh (RUS), 2h58’55 back