Solar Team Twente triumphs in Morocco

| Jelle Posthuma

Solar Team Twente may call itself the solar king of Morocco. Today, during the fifth and final stage of the Solar Challenge Morocco, the Twente team did not give up the lead in the overall ranking. 'This is what we have been working towards for years.'


At the start of the last stage in Zagora, Solar Team Twente held a comfortable lead of almost 50 minutes over Belgian competitor Agoria Solar Team. Although the Belgians managed to overtake the Twente team during the last stage, the time loss was kept to a minimum allowing Twente to keep its lead in the overall standings. Agoria came in second and Vattenfall Solar Team from Delft took bronze. 

The final stage on Friday led over 475 kilometres from Zagora to the port city of Agadir, where the finish line was drawn at the Stade Adrar. 'This is fantastic', said team member Gearte Nynke Noteboom a few minutes after the final race. 'We have been working towards this for years. Everyone is going crazy, and that includes all the old team members back home.' According to Noteboom, the duel with the Belgian team today was quite tense. 'But we were able to maintain our focus and lead by a good margin.'

On arrival in Agadir, the Twente team noted about a half-hour lead over the number two in the overall standings - although the final times have not yet been announced. 'We are very relieved at the moment,' says Noteboom. The team still has a ceremony to celebrate at the stadium in Agadir. 'What exactly is going to happen, I do not know. In any case, we're going to have a party.'

The Solar Challenge Morocco is the unofficial alternative for the World Solar Challenge in Australia, where the race was cancelled for the second year in a row due to the Covid pandemic. Over the past week the Solar Team Twente competed against six other teams in five stages, of which the team managed to win three. The teams had to set the fastest possible time every day. After the fifth stage, the times were added up and Twente proved to be the fastest.

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