On the 6th January 2018 the worlds toughest race kicks off in Peru. It will be the 40th edition of the prestigious Dakar rally and it’s set to be another gruelling affair where riders and bikes will be pushed to the limit and beyond to get to the finish.
This year’s race will run across three countries, Peru, Bolivia and Argentina meaning the challenges will be both intense and diverse. In Peru it will be about sand dunes and lots of them, Bolivia will be characterized by extreme altitude with some stages being run at in excess of 3,500 meters, while Argentina will be fast and rocky.
In total riders that get to the finish will have to navigate 9000KM in 13 days of riding with 5000 of those kilometres being timed special stages that will ultimately decide the result of the race.
New for this year’s event is an additional Marathon Stage for the bikes. A Marathon stage is a stage where the riders do not return to the Bivouac and therefore have no access to the team and pit crew. It means riders have to look after their bikes and tyres more than ever as there is no option to make running repairs. Historically the Dakar has had one Marathon Stage, but for Dakar 2018 there are two.
Dakar 2018 will see just three Brits enter the epic race, but in 2018 it’s all about quality, not quantity with Sam Sunderland, Lyndon Poskitt and Max Hunt. (see separate stories).