Dakar kicks off in style from Buenos Aires

Published: 01 January 2011

The 33rd Dakar got under way in Buenos Aires today with a 377KM liaison stage to the first bivouac in Victoria. The 170 bike entrants completed the relatively simple stage but because of the huge crowds lining the street and congestion many riders did not reach their destination until 9pm.

The Dakar kicks off in earnest tomorrow at 4.20am with the first liaison and special stage. The route will take competitors from Victoria to Cordoba taking in 566km road section with a 192km special stage.

KTM men Marc Coma and Cyril Despres remain pre race favourites for overall glory, but with new rules for 2011 meaning the maximum engine capacity of 450cc they are expecting stiff opposition from Yamaha man Helder Rodriguez, Aprilia rider Francisco Lopez and David Casteu onboard the Sherco.

Craig Bounds will be leading the charge for the Brits onboard his Yamaha WRF 450 and he will be joined by Jenifer Morgan (Yamaha WRF450) and honorary Brit Simon Pavey riding a BMW G450X.