8 Stages of the MDC 2019

An unique concept from Coast to Coast and 0 km liaison

Morocco has so much to offer and, true to tradition, we oblige to show our competitors as much of the landscapes as possible. After all, no one gets excited from running around in circles around Merzouga, Zagora or Mhamid.

Morocco Desert Challenge literally is what it promises to be: a real challenge in the Moroccan desert. Following the success of 2018 and after the results of the survey we have once again chosen to travel from coast to coast: from the beaches of Plage Blanche at the Atlantic to the Mediterranean shores. The route will nevertheless be completely different: new roadbooks, new bivouacs and 8 new stages.

0 kilometre liaison

Not only is Morocco Desert Challenge an adventure full of surprises, with fast tracks, technical parts, vast African plains, even more dunes, salt lakes and legendary Dakar stages, it also offers something really unique: 0 kilometre of liaison from the start of the first special till the finish of the last one. That’s right: no liaison, only pure rally experience. No one has done it before, others will copy it.

11th & 12th April

Stage 0: Agadir

On Thursday 11th and Friday 12th April 2019 the Morocco Desert Challenge kicks off with scrutineering in Agadir, one of Morocco’s friendly seaside resorts with an international airport. Bivouac 0 is at Place Al Amal, Agadir’s largest public square. The rally hotel, where everybody is accommodated, is located along the square.

Stage 1 | Saturday 13th April

Plage Blanche - Abetteh (prologue)

Distance Special 1 = 218 km

The real start of the rally is at the legendary Plage Blanche, 250 kms south of Agadir. We’ll kick off with a breath taking 25 km “flat out” with low tide on a virgin white beach along the Atlantic coast. From there on, the route will change. Wizard Jean- Claude Kaket will lead us over new sandy pistes to the south. Day 1 will be the perfect introduction-mix of beach, a few dunes, WRC-specials, gravel and sandy pistes. A magnificent prologue of 200km to test the machines and to determine the starting positions for the next day.

Stage 2 | Sunday 14th April

Abetteh - Smara

Distance Special 2 = 402 km
​​​​​​​Liaison = 0 km

A first long, totally new stage brings us deep into the Moroccan (Western) Sahara. We will start with sandy tracks and will take an old, forgotten Dakar piste in the southern direction far beyond Laayoune. Afterwards, a variety of winding fast pistes with countless passages through sandy oueds and white plains ‘hors piste’ and at cap. Pleasure and spectacle guaranteed.

Stage 3 | Monday 15th April

Smara - Assa

Distance Special 3 = 372 km
​​​​​​​Liaison = 0 km

New tracks in stage 3 as well. Both technical, sandy as well as hard. Sometimes you imagine yourself to be in black Africa. Valleys full of trees and animals as if you are on the African Savannah. Besides that, there are several oueds, winding paths and dried salt lakes. At the compulsory military checkpoint you will be welcomed under loud applause; the chef told us that he is waiting for 10 years already for the next rally to pass his checkpoint.

Stage 4 | Tuesday 16th April

Assa - Foum Zguid

Distance Special 4 = 425 km
​​​​​​​Liaison = 0 km

We start with a new variation on the legendary Dakar-piste, crossing the largest military zone of southern Morocco. Desolate but gorgeous landscapes. Fast tracks will be found all day (big jumps). An ideal playground for a real cross-country rally.

Wednesday 17th April

Stage 5: Foum Zguid – Zagora

Distance Special 5 = 308 km
​​​​​​​Liaison = 0 km

Today, your patience will be rewarded. On the agenda: sand, sand, and even more sand. After crossing Lac Iriki we will cross the entire Erg Chebbi from east to west and from north to south. After a few kilometers on sandy slopes, we dive into another dune sea. This time a never before driven Erg south of Mhamid. We will take a well-deserved rest in our bivouac at the ‘Dune de Tinfou’, not far from Zagora.

Thursday 18th April

Stage 6: Zagora – Merzouga

Distance Special 6 = 370 km
​​​​​​​Liaison = 0 km

Another classic desert stage with a little bit of everything, expertly composed by our race director. The sand plains from Fezzou to Marabout, the MHarech canyon, the dunes of Ouzina, more lingering tracks through sandy oueds and a first crossing of the Erg Chebbi to round off. A guaranteed show piece.

Friday 19th April

Stage 7: Merzouga – Bouarfa

Distance Special 7 = 427 km
​​​​​​​Liaison = 0 km

A final day in the dunes, but definitely one for the brave: we’ll start with the north-south crossing of Morocco’s highest dunes, Erg Chebbi, followed by another section of dunes in Erg Znaigui. From here onwards, we change our cap and via a mix of sandy oueds, fast & technical tracks we start heading north. On the menu the fast tracks of Hamada and a small piece of the Rekkam-plateau. With technical parts in the morning, and navigation and lots of drifting in the afternoon.

Saturday 20th April

Stage 8: Bouarfa – Oujda - Saïdia

Distance Special 8 = 219 km

The final stage is traditionally a bit shorter, but not to be underestimated as often the sting is in the tail. A jumble of hard to find tracks through fields & pampas demand utter concentration and perfect navigation. Focus is fundamentally because it goes fast, very fast. Just south of Oujda, champagne is waiting for you!

On Saturday 20th April the finish & award ceremony will take place in a five star hotel in Saïdia, at the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. The port of Nador and the international airports of Oujda & Nador are just around the corner. The day after the rally, you can be home.​​​​​​​

Don't limit your challenges. Challenge your limits.