Discover Peru : 10 stages of sand waits for Dakar 2019

10 Months ago

The 2019 Dakar Rally is 100% Peru. Participants will start the rally from Lima before venturing on a 5000 km loop. This new format of the rally will keep the course entirely within the borders of Peru. This poses a problem to riders that has never been seen on this scale before: sand

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In last year’s edition, crossing the deserts of Inca and Tanaka was one of the most challenging legs of the rally. The sandy terrain claimed many racers in several categories, some of whom are top competitors.

Riders will return to spend the entire duration of their rally on the dunes of Peru. For the first time, participants will be facing terrain made up of an overwhelming 70% sand. Having to deal with vast and open terrain makes navigation and endurance equally challenging, with the margins for error far smaller than on trails or dirt tracks.

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Of the 5000 km course, the special stages will take up more than half the distance, at 3000 km. On the flipside, the open expanses of Peru will make for excellent viewing with both stage 5 and stage 9 kicking off with mass starts.

This year’s edition will see a small change being implemented in the format of the race, with the introduction of a ‘half-marathon’ class for cars, sxs and trucks. Crashing out of the competition in the first few 100 km can be heartbreaking. Participants unfortunate enough to crash during the first week of the competition will be allowed to restart the rally from the rest day onwards under a separate classification.

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(Image credit: dakar.com)

Speaking on the upcoming rally, our riders are upbeat about competing yet again.

Santosh said, "I really need to work on riding in the sand and that’s why we spent a lot of time testing in Morocco and competed on the Desafio Inca. On the Dakar, I’ll be chasing for the Top 20 but my main goal is really to finish."

JRod said, "When I finished the Desafio Rally in Peru, I was really really happy. It was a big weight off my shoulders. That's why I wanted to race Peru because I know from experience that the mental part is really important."

Mena said, "We have prepared very well in riding on terrain that is very similar to what we will face. Even though the Dakar changes a lot from one year to the next, I am very familiar with what Peru has in store for us.”

With just a few days to go, we are really looking forward to competing again. All three of our riders are well suited to riding in sandy conditions and are in good form, having prepared months in advance. Our Heroes will soon be in Lima, at the start line of the 2019 Dakar Rally.