The Dakar Rally has already released its route for the 2013 Dakar, and the famous endurance race will once again compete in South America (Africa what?). Choosing to do a reversal of its previous routes, The Dakar will travel from north to south by starting in Lima, Peru and ending in Santiago, Chile.
Though this will be the fifth time the Dakar Rally has run in South America, the 2013 edition should be a grueling one right off the bat. Since the race is starting in Lima, it means competitors will be in the sand dunes of Peru right away — the first time the race has ever started in the desert. With all eyes watching to see if Cyril Despres can defend his 2012 victory against rival Marc Coma, racing action for the 2013 Dakar Rally starts Janurary 5th and ends January 20th.
Dakar organizers describe the three countries of the 2013 Dakar Rally as the following:
Peru (Grand Start + 5 Stages):
The discovery of Peru thrilled everybody who reached this stage of the rally in 2012. This time, all the riders, drivers and crews will be able to test their mettle on the largest chains of dunes crossed on the continent since 2009. The Dakar has never before started in the middle of the desert in its history. Whilst the dosage of difficulties will decide just how and when the pressure rises, there will be no room for improvisation in 2013.
Argentina (5 Stages + Rest Day):
Once it crosses the Andes Mountains, after a first visit to Chile, the rally will encounter a different face of South America: one that guarantees a broad range of terrains which smile primarily upon flexibility. In Argentina, the capacity to adapt will be vital to switch from one type of riding and driving to another and between different methods of managing the race. Although the ration of sand will be less dense, the visit to Gaucho country will nevertheless finish with a major test in which only genuine experts in desert riding and driving will be at ease.
Chile (4 Stages + Finish):
Two distinct sequences will be played out in Chile and each of them will be decisive. The return to the Atacama corresponds with the phase of the Dakar where competitors navigate in the domain of extreme endurance. As a challenge of ultimate resistance, the sessions in the dunes will continue up to the day before the finish. Before reaching Santiago, the competitors will have to tame difficulties of the highest order right up to the end.