The official details of the 2015 Dakar Rally – nicknamed “The Odyssey” – were unveiled Wednesday during a presentation at the Gabriel Pavilion in Paris’ iconic Champs-Elysees.
The 37th edition begins in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Jan. 4, 2015, which is just over six weeks away. This year’s Dakar features 13 grueling stages and only one rest day halfway through. The 2015 Dakar Rally travels through Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile, and ends Jan. 17, 2015, back in Buenos Aires
During the presentation, Étienne Lavigne, Dakar Race Director, said one of the predominant factors will be altitude. A few sections on the route stretch above nearly 2300 miles above sea level.
The 2015 Dakar Rally’s total length is 5,775 miles, with 2953 of those – over half – timed specials, making it over 300 miles longer than the 2014 Dakar.
New features will surely challenge the riders, including the two marathon stages, both set for the second week after the rest day in Chile.
Last year’s Dakar Rally, which which took riders 5427 miles in 13 stages through Argentina, Bolivia and Chile, was won by Red Bull KTM’s Marc Coma. This was Coma’s fourth Dakar title, and he took the overall victory after winning only three stages.
All together, 196 motorcycles began the 2014 Dakar Rally – rightly dubbed the world’s toughest rally – and only 78 finished.
The 2014 Dakar Rally also claimed three lives. During stage six, Belgium rider Eric Palante (Honda, 50-years old) was found dead. Two Argentina reporters also died when a car rolled on them in a ravine – 20-year-old Agustin Mina and 51-year-old Daniel Ambrosio.
2015 Dakar Rally Schedule (courtesy of Team HRC):
|STAGE||DAY||FROM – TO||TOTAL KM||SPECIAL||LIAISON|
|Stage 1||4 January||Buenos Aires – Villa Carlos Paz||838||175||663|
|Stage 2||5 January||Villa Carlos Paz – San Juan||625||518||107|
|Stage 3||6 January||San Juan – Chilecito||657||220||437|
|Stage 4||7 January||Chilecito – Copiapó||909||315||594|
|Stage 5||8 January||Copiapó – Antofagasta||697||458||239|
|Stage 6||9 January||Antofagasta – Iquique||688||319||369|
|Rest day||10 January||Iquique|
|Stage 7||11 January||Iquique – Uyuni (*)||717||321||396|
|Stage 8||12 January||Uyuni – Iquique||805||781||24|
|Stage 9||13 January||Iquique – Calama||539||451||88|
|Stage 10||14 January||Calama – Salta (*)||891||371||520|
|Stage 11||15 January||Salta – Termas Río Hondo||512||351||161|
|Stage 12||16 January||Termas Río Hondo – Rosario||1024||298||726|
|Stage 13||17 January||Rosario – Buenos Aires||393||174||219|