The beginning of today leg's leg is straightforward, which is not to say that the difficulties are behind the Gazelles (far from it), but it will give them a chance to “ digest " yesterday's intense leg in the dunes.
The Gazelles will quickly realize that the terrain is completely different today: a hamada (raised rocky plateau) will be the setting for the day's adventures. Many oueds (dried river beds), more or less long, deep, divert from the initial course… often without warning (otherwise it would be too simple…) We will also find sand, surrounded by barriers of camel grass and “ cauliflowers » (large rock-hard blocks of sandy roots) which can in some cases block the vehicle. The shovel can quickly become your best friend if you have trouble getting through these areas.
Identifying landmarks to get their bearings is standard practice for a Gazelle... but may be more of a feat on this plateau than anywhere else , as features are very distant and often masked by a haze of heat.
In addition, the teams will be navigating on 1:250.000 scale maps (rather than the usual 1/100.000) so there are fewer details… Who said being a Gazelle was easy?
We will probably see a lot of changes in the rankings tonight, before starting tomorrow's marathon leg ...