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Mon 24 November 2014

The start before the start

Since our last newsletter we received a lot of information, worth sharing with you, about the next Dakar edition, starting on Sunday the 4th of January 2015. First of all, last Wednesday the A.S.O. organised their yearly press presentation in Paris. Besides the announcement of the competitors list and starting numbers they also revealed the 2015 route in detail with a lot of surprises.


 

A few highlights of the route:

  • This year the Dakar will make a full loop again, like in the 2009, ‘10 and ’11 edition, with start and finish in Buenos Aires.
  • The competitors have to cover more than 9000 kilometres in total, with 4500 kilometres of special stages.
  • There will be separate rest days (in Iquique, Chili) for the motorcycles and quads and for the cars and trucks: Saturday the 10th of January will be the rest day for the motorcycles and quads and Monday the 12th for the cars and trucks.
  • The motorcycles will have 2 marathon stages without assistance, both after the rest day. This means they will be tested on their mechanical skills twice this year!
  • Also a big challenge again; the altitude. Highest point this year is the Paso de l’Acay, at an altitude of 4970m.
  • All competitors have to cross the Andes 4 times (where it freezes). Especially for the motorcycles these big fluctuation in temperatures (during the day it can be over 40 degrees) demands a high level of fitness.
  • And last but not least, at stage 12 from Termas Rio Hondo to Rosario, the competitors have to cover 1024 kilometres! The longest special ever in South-America since the first edition in 2009!

For many of the competitors (and teams) the first important stage of the Dakar is not in South America, but on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, at the port of Le Havre. The technical pre-checks and loading of the European vehicles, a total of more than 700 vehicles from all categories, was scheduled last Thursday and Friday. Thursday we loaded our last boxes with spare-parts into our truck and left for Le Havre.


The technical pre-checks for the bikes proved the level of preparation and were passed without any problem.  Also our assistance truck passed the checks and was parked in the queue to be loaded in the huge car transport boat.


The crossing of the Atlantic Ocean will take 21-days. The 30th and 31st of December we can collect our vehicles in the port of Lima, 1 hour North of Buenos Aires.

Team HT Honda Rally Raid

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