This morning in Paris, the organizers of the Dakar unveiled the outline of the route for the 2016 edition, the 8th that will take place in South America. Without Chile, which has been affected by tragic floods in the regions which usually welcome the rally, a brand new journey through the continent has been prepared for the competitors. From Lima in Peru to Rosario in Argentina via the high plains of Bolivia, the riders and drivers will experience a Dakar of contrasts.
A new diagonal line has been drawn over the map of the South American continent, with angles and detours that give the route for the Dakar 2016 a unique aspect. To get the measure of this trek from Peru through Bolivia to Argentina, traditional maps need to be put aside to integrate a third dimension: the relief of the Andes Mountains that will punctuate the stages that the riders, drivers and crews will have to tackle next January. Initially, a re-acquaintance with Peru will provide the experts in driving on sand with the opportunity to take advantage of their skills on the dunes. After having completed this long corridor of sand set between the ocean and the mountains, the Dakar will explore Bolivia, which will welcome the rally for the third time, in a completely new manner. Following the limited incursions in the previous two editions, the rally will cross the country and its high plains, with the discovery of Lake Titicaca on the menu. The change in setting will be accompanied by a gain in altitude that will test the competitors’ capacity to adapt physically and technically. Lastly, the extreme endurance phase will take place in Argentina, a faithful host to the Dakar since its arrival on the continent. The journey progressively southwards to Rosario will especially lead the rally through territories with varying characteristics: meeting the challenge will not only require robustness, but also concentration and wisdom.