Details revealed ahead of Dakar 2019

The 2019 Dakar will kick off on January 7th...

2019 Dakar Rally

WITH JUST OVER A MONTH to go until the world’s largest rally raid spectacle, further details of the 2019 Dakar Rally have been revealed.

In a departure from its usual continent-crossing course, the Dakar will take place entirely within the borders of one country – Peru – after Chile, Argentina and Bolivia all withdrew from the event.

But Peru still has plenty to offer in terms of desert and sand dunes. And on January 7th, 534 competitors in 334 vehicles will line up at the start of the 5,000 kilometre epic, which includes 3,000 of intense special stage. Competitors’ endurance, skill and navigation ability will be tested to the limit during the two-week-long race.

Of the 2019 edition’s difficulty, race director Etienne Lavigne commented: “It is a little like as if we were competing in the Vendée Globe only in the roaring 40s”.

Leading the motorcycle category, KTM riders Matthais Walkner, Toby Price and Sam Sunderland will take on the Hondas of Kevin Benavides, Paulo Gonçalves and Joan Barreda as well as the Yamahas of Adrien Van Beveren and Xavier De Soultrait.

Of the 534 competitors taking part in the rally, there will be 135 newcomers, allowing 97 vehicles –30% of the field – to compete for rookie of the year honours. And next year’s edition will also see the largest female entry since the beginning of the Dakar’s South American era a decade ago. They will be 17 women competiting across the various classes, including long-time bike competitor Laia Sanz, and newcomer Kirsten Landman.

And 34 motorcycle and quad riders have chosen to enter unassisted in the “Original by Motul” class, previously known as the Malle Moto. 

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