Motorcycle Types Adventure / Dual-Sport Dakar 2014 | Preview & USA TV Schedule

Dakar 2014 | Preview & USA TV Schedule

Yamaha's Cyril Despres, a five-time Dakar winner
Yamaha’s Cyril Despres, a five-time Dakar winner

2014 Dakar Preview / US TV Schedule

This year, the world’s “toughest rally” will enter new territory, and provide more challenging terrain for the 196 motorcycle competitors.

Dakar 2014 – the 36th edition of the famed rally – will enter three countries in South America. The rally begins in Argentina, goes through Bolivia for the first time in the rally’s history, and ends in Chile. The Dakar begins Sunday, Jan. 5, and finishes Saturday, Jan. 18, with riders taking one rest day midway between on Saturday, Jan. 11.

Dakar 2014 will feature 5427 miles of terrain conquered in 13 days, with 3248 of those miles timed specials; the other 2179 are liaison miles. This year, Dakar Rally officials say that 40-percent of the specials will separate the motorcycles from the automobiles, making for even tougher two-wheel terrain.

Three OEMs will field teams at this year’s event – KTM, Yamaha and Honda. KTM has won every Dakar Rally since 2001, though there was no Rally in 2008 due to issues in North Africa. And at Dakar 2013, KTM took the top five overall finishes.

Taking five of these titles was Cyril Despres, the Frenchman winning in 2005, 2007, 2010, 2012 and 2013. But for 2014, Despres has switched manufacturers, and will pilot a Yamaha YZ450F Rally at Dakar. If Despres takes one more win, he will tie his fellow countryman Stephane Peterhansel as the top Dakar finisher (motorcycle) with six wins.

Marc Coma is a three-time winner at Dakar (2006, 2009, 2011), and continues to compete on the KTM 450 Rally. Last season he didn’t ride due to shoulder injury sustained during the Morocco Rally. Riding in his place was the late Kurt Caselli, who took two stage wins but due to navigational issues finished 31st.

Last year, Honda entered a factory team for the first time in 23 years. The Japanese manufacturer provided much pressure to KTM, and had a best overall finish of seventh with Helder Rodrigues at the controls of the Honda CRF 450 Rally. Honda has competed nine times in the motorcycle class in the forerunner of the present Dakar Rally, the Paris-Dakar Rally, from 1981 through to 1989, and was a winner five times during that period.

Stay clicked to for day-by-day stage results.

Dakar 2014 TV Broadcast Schedule

Due to time differences, the US television broadcast schedule will once again be a day behind. This year, NBCSN (NBC Sports Network) will broadcast “The Dakar Series” in both standard and HD. The coverage begins at 5 p.m. ET Monday, Jan. 6.

Following is the entire Dakar 2014 TV Schedule (all ET):

  • NBCSNHD: Jan 6, 5 p.m.
  • NBCSNHD: Jan 7, 5 p.m.
  • NBCSN: Jan 7, 5 p.m.
  • NBCSN: Jan 8, 5 p.m.
  • NBCSNHD: Jan 8, 5 p.m.
  • NBCSN: Jan 9, 5 p.m.
  • NBCSNHD: Jan 9, 5 p.m.
  • NBCSN: Jan 10, 5 p.m.
  • NBCSNHD: Jan 10, 5 p.m.
  • NBCSN: Jan 11, 5:30 p.m.
  • NBCSNHD: Jan 11, 5:30 p.m.
  • NBCSNHD: Jan 12, 10 p.m.
  • NBCSN: Jan 12, 10 p.m.
  • NBCSNHD: Jan 13, 6:30 p.m.
  • NBCSN: Jan 13, 6:30 p.m.
  • NBCSNHD: Jan 14, 5 p.m.
  • NBCSN: Jan 14, 5 p.m.
  • NBCSNHD: Jan 15, 5 p.m.
  • NBCSN: Jan 15, 5 p.m.
  • NBCSNHD: Jan. 16, 5 p.m.
  • NBCSN: Jan. 16, 5 p.m.
  • NBCSNHD: Jan. 17, 5 p.m.
  • NBCSN: Jan. 17, 5 p.m.

Dakar 2014 Individual Stage Schedule:

  • Stage 1: Rosario to San Luis – 390 miles liaison, 112 miles special = 520 miles (longest in miles)
  • Stage 2: San Luis to San Rafael – 227 mile liaison, 223 mile special = 450 miles
  • Stage 3: San Rafael to San Juan – 181 mile liaison, 232 mile special = 413 miles (First marathon stage)
  • Stage 4: San Juan to Chilecito – 130 miles liaison, 219 miles special = 350 miles
  • Stage 5: Chilecito to Tucuman – 239 miles liaison, 327 miles special = 327 miles
  • Stage 6: Tucuman to Salta – 38 mile liaison, 249 miles special = 288 miles
  • Rest Day: Salta
  • Stage 7: Salta to Salta/Uyuni – 232 mile liaison, 254 mile special = 486 miles

    (Second marathon stage)

  • Stage 8: Salta/Uyuni to Calama – 143 mile, 287 mile special = 430 miles
  • Stage 9: Calama to Iquique – 18 mile liaison, 262 mile special = 280 miles
  • Stage 10: Iquique to Antofagasta – 36 mile liaison, 392 mile special = 428 miles
  • Stage 11: Antofagasta to El Salvador – 89 mile liaison, 376 mile special = 465 miles (Longest timed special)
  • Stage 12: El Salvador to La Serena 217 mile liaison, 217 special = 434 miles
  • Stage 13: La Serena to Valparaiso 235 mile liaison, 96 mile special = 332 miles
  • Total Liaison: 2179 miles
  • Total Timed Special: 3248 miles
  • Total Distance: 5427 miles


Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
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 Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling.

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