Thoughts on the Race/Expedition Concept – Desert Camp, Sudan
I got thinking about the Tour and the unique style of having a race and an epic tour all in one, and I think it works because the campsite life equalizes everyone. There are no divisions in camp between these groups, everyone talks together about their day and about what it is they do when there are not on the Tour d’Afrique.
The group is like a nomadic village that packs up each morning to settle again that afternoon some 120 km further south. And whether it takes them 3 hours or 12 hours to get there, they all stay together, eat together, and support each other. The expedition riders applaud the racer and shake their heads in disbelief at the times they cross the line at, the racers cheer on the expedition riders as they come in later to camp – having exerted themselves perhaps even more than the racers in simply trying to complete each days distance. Then there are the expedition riders who are the curious explorers, who are fit and fast, but couldn’t be bothered to race, but instead want to explore every village they pass by, shop in the markets, talk to the people and get a little better insight into the places they’ve been.
There are many different goals of the participants – to simply complete the Tour, to win the race, to be ride EFI, and so on. But they all have common things that perhaps inspire them – Africa, the adventure, travel, the challenge the tour presents, the unpredictability, and the joys of camping and meeting new and interesting people.