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Marathon des Sables 2024 stage four: Rachid bounces back and a scare for Aziza El Amrany

Jonathan Turner
News Director
Updated on
Endure 24
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Rachid El Morabity bounced back with victory on the fourth stage of the Marathon des Sables but it’s still his younger brother Mohamed who remains in pole position to defend his overall title.

Rachid, who is seeking a record-equalling 10th crown, finished over 10km behind Mohamed on the race-defining third stage.

That had left him almost an hour adrift in the overall standings and locked in a battle with Aziz Yachou for second place in what is an all-Moroccan podium.

And while Thursday’s action saw Mohamed remain in complete control, Rachid’s win – by over a minute and a half – boosted his hopes of the runner-up spot.

In the women’s race it’s even more clear-cut as Aziza El Amrany made it four stage wins out of four to extend her advantage over fellow Moroccan Aziza Raji to nearly two hours – though this time she had to survive a big scare midway through the stage.


Men’s race – Moroccan trio still dominant

It was back to marathon distance after Tuesday’s epic stage, with full details of what faced the runners available via the embedded post below.

It was Hamid Yachou, Aziz’s brother, who took the lead early in the morning, with the aim of making up the 10 seconds separating him from fourth-placed Yohann Stuck of France in the overall classification and to open up as big a gap as possible.

Caught by the El Morabity brothers after the first sandy section, he let them take the lead, and also saw his brother pass him.

Rachid would then make what proved the decisive break shortly after 30km and he went on to cross the finish line in 3:13:24, a minute and 35 seconds ahead of Mohamed and Aziz.

That saw him consolidate his second place, but he pretty much conceded that first place has long gone when he said: “It’s all over now”.

As for the duel between Hamid and Yohann, despite the Moroccan’s hot start, it was the Frenchman who came out on top and he said: “For the moment I’m keeping my fourth place, but he’s still going very fast.

“I think he wanted to get a comfortable lead, I could see him in the distance, I caught up with him quite quickly, and as soon as I caught up with him he put his foot down and I managed to follow. It’s a good thing he was there because things were coming back hard behind.”


Women’s race – Moser makes unfortunate exit

Aziza El Amrany, third in 2022 and second last year, has been dominant from the outset in the women’s race and that continued on stage four.

Or at least it did for the first half of the stage. Because just to underline that nobody is safe from a breakdown, she suffered a serious heatstroke issue shortly after the halfway point and had to grit her teeth to finish.

But despite that she still won the stage by over 20 minutes to extend her lead over Aziza Raji.

And there was drama just behind them as Adriana Moser (NED), who was clear in third, was struggling with blisters on her feet following the 85km third stage.

She changed her stride to compensate for the pain but that meant running the risk of injury and she began to be affected by severe pain in her leg. She still took to the start but after 5km of pain she decided to stop the race which saw Gemma Game (GBR) move into third place on the overall podium.

Jonathan Turner
Written by
Jonathan Turner
Jonathan Turner is News Director for both TRI247 and RUN247, and is accustomed to big-name interviews, breaking news stories and providing unrivalled coverage for endurance sports.Β Β 


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