Race officials for the Dakar Rally have just released their initial plans for the 2019 edition of the grueling off-road race, and next year Dakar competitors will compete in only one country: Peru. The news is a bit of a shock, since in the past The Dakar has found hosts in multiple South American countries (Argentina, Bolivia, & Chile). But, South America’s hospitality has been on the wane, which leads us to our next bit of news… There is a growing idea that the Dakar Rally could be headed back to Africa for the 2020 edition and onward. Boom goes the dynamite. All of this means that for the first time in The Dakar’s history, the iconic race will be held in only a single country. This is because of the growing austerity movements in Argentina and Chile.
The 2017 Dakar Rally isn’t until January of next year, but that hasn’t stopped the ASO from whetting our appetites on the iconic race, with the French organization releasing the details on the route for the 2017 Dakar Rally.
As we reported earlier, Chilé opted out of hosting the 2017 Dakar Rally, and the ASO confirms that next year’s route will go through Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay – the latter being a new venue for the Dakar Rally, since it’s move from Africa to South America.
Paraguay’s capital and largest city, Asunción will host the start of The Dakar, and will be the only stop for competitors in Paraguay. This is because the bulk of the route takes place still in Argentina, with only four stops planned in Bolivia.
The 2016 Dakar Rally has already has the setback of Chilé being removed from its rally raid course, and now today we get word that the ASO is making another alteration to next year’s event, as Peru is being removed from the course as well.
The news comes about after weather forecasts predict a particularly strong El Niño this year, which has lead the Peruvian government to declare an emergency in 14 regions of the country.
This has also lead to the cancelation of the Inca Desafío race, and of course nixes the country’s involvement in the 2016 Dakar Rally.
The route for the 2015 Dakar Rally has been confirmed, and details have been dropped on what could be the most grueling motorcycle event on Earth. The 14 day, 13 stage Dakar will take competitors through Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, and back to Argentina again, making for roughly 9,000 kilometers of terrain to navigate.
The 68 motorcycle competitors will have the added challenge of two marathon stages — stages where only the riders can work on their bikes, and can receive no help from their support crews.
Marc Coma is a heavy favorite for the 2015 edition, especially with rival Cyril Despres making the career switch to race on four wheels with Peugoet. However Coma can expect strong competition from his teammate Ruben Faria, not to mention from the likes of Joan Barreda on his Honda, and Olivier Pain on the Yamaha.
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.