For the sixth year in a row, the Dakar Rally will race in South America, though the iconic rally race is mixing things up, and is dropping its route through Peru for one that includes Bolivia instead. The Dakar will keep Argentina and Chile on its 2014 course schedule, and the two countries will comprise the majority of the race’s torturous test of its competitors.
The 2014 Dakar Rally will have longer special stages, as well as several marathon stages (stages where only the competitor can do mechanical work on his/her machine, not the mechanics). Taking riders and drivers though Argentina’s northwest canyons and sandy valleys, it should be an especially grueling edition of the historic race.
With KTM announcing an investment in its future, signing Kurt Caselli to join Marc Coma and Ruben Faria to its Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team, five-time winner Cyril Despres has yet to announce where he will be racing next season (if at all).
Smart money is put down on the Frenchman defecting to Honda, as HRC made a strong factory showing in the 2013 edition of the Dakar Rally, and is now ready to put some top-talent on its HRC prepped Honda CRF450 Rally race bike. Coma vs. Despres on different machinery — just what The Dakar needed. 2014 should be a good race.