The Dakar Rally has reached full registration in the bike and quad categories, four months ahead of the start of the rally raid. The 33rd edition of the Dakar will take place in Argentina and Chile from January 1st to 16th, 2011.
The 2010 Dakar Rally began and ended in Buenos Aires, covering a looping 9,000 kilometers between Argentina and Chile over 14 stages. 362 Teams began the race with 176 motorcycles and quad bikes, 134 cars, and 52 trucks. 187 Teams finished the race, including 88 bikes, 14 quads, 57 cars and 28 trucks.
Collected here are several photographs from the first 8 stages of Dakar Rally 2010 (37 photos total) including this photo of Spain's Gerard Farres Guell kicking up sand with his Aprilia during the 4th stage of the Dakar 2010 between Fiambala, Argentina, and Copiapo, Chile on January 5, 2010. Spain's Marc Coma won the stage, France's David Casteu took the second place and France's Cyril Despres the third. (GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
The History of The Dakar Rally
The adventure began back in 1977, when Thierry Sabine got lost on his motorbike in the Libyan desert during the Abidjan-Nice Rally. He survived the extreme desert sand conditions and returned home to France, enthralled by the landscape and promising to share his fascination with as many people as possible.
He proceeded to come up with a route starting in Europe, continuing to Algiers and crossing Agadez before eventually finishing at Dakar. The founder coined a motto for his inspiration: "A challenge for those who go. A dream for those who stay behind."
Courtesy of his great conviction and that modicum of madness peculiar to all great ideas, the plan quickly became a reality. Since then, the Paris-Dakar, a unique event sparked by the spirit of adventure, open to all riders and carrying a message of friendship between all men, has never failed to challenge, surprise and excite. Over the course of more than thirty years, it has generated innumerable sporting and human stories.
This Year's Rally Course
A limited 200 motorcycles and quads are allowed to start the race, in order to provide for the best possible management of the sporting event. As requests for further registrations are still flowing in, a waiting list has been established to allow a few more riders to join the race should any of the already registered contenders drop out in the weeks to come.
Click the map for an enlarged view.
In the 33rd edition of the now famous race, the maximum engine size has been limited to 450cc. So racers like Cyril Despres and Marc Coma can no longer dominate the race on their 640+ cc KTM engines, but will instead be running on the new KTM 450s.
After Aprilia – which managed to put Francisco “Chaleco” Lopez on the podium for his very first time in the raid – it is now BMW that has registered and is sporting big ambitions with the creation of the Speedbrain BMW Rally Team. The new team immediately hired David Frétigné and Frans Verhoeven, who first test drove the machine in 2010.
Bearing in mind that all the riders in the elite category have to register with a 450cc, the new outsiders will race on equal terms with the usual duel contenders Cyril Despres and Marc Coma, who both won the last five editions of the raid they participated in on KTM bikes. In the struggle for final victory, we will also have to count with the expertise of Yamaha with 450cc bikes, and on Honda and Sherco riders of the likes of David Casteu.