2011 Dakar: Official Details Announced

2011 Dakar News

On Tuesday morning, the organizers of the Personal Argentina Chile Dakar announced the details of the 2011 edition, the third in South America, which will be run from Jan. 1st through the 16.

In 2011, the Dakar route takes the competitors to the extreme northern regions of Argentina and Chile, to the Bolivian and Peru borders, just until the rest day at Arica, before heading back towards Buenos Aires.

The design of the Dakar route, consisting of 9000kms of roads, tracks and dunes, including nearly 5000 of competition, was done with the idea of saving the more difficult stages for the second half of the event to maintain maximum suspense and create a crescendo of difficulty. The competitors and teams are in for an extreme endurance challenge.

Veterans and novices are now ready for the adventure with 430 vehicles expected to line-up at the start of the 32nd edition of the Dakar, which is a near 20-percent increase from 2010.

Beyond the numbers, another accomplishment has already been achieved with the finalization of a plan to intensify the competition: the elite in the motorcycle division will compete on bikes with engine capacities inferior to 450ccs.

This major change has sparked the interest of manufacturers who have entered strong line-ups in the battle for victory.

KTM is back with Cyril Despres and Marc Coma, who have combined to win the last five Dakars, and now will race with equal power against Aprilia (Lopez, Duclos…), BMW (Frétigné, Verhoeven…),Yamaha (Viladoms, Rodrigues…), Sherco (Casteu), Honda (Bethys,

Pisano…) as well as Beta (Boano).

Before heading into competition, the vehicles of the European competitors will first head to Le Havre on Nov. 24 and 25. From there they will cross the Atlantic and head to Buenos Aires. Technical and administrative verifications will be conducted on Dec. 30 and 31.

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One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007 and is currently Editor at Large at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of 365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).