News – Dakar

www.dakar.com

“A challenge for those who go. A dream for those who stay behind.”

– Thierry Sabine, Dakar founder

 

Race2Recovery was founded with a onetime goal in mind: crossing the finish line of the Dakar Rally 2013.  We wrote history by being the first disabled team to start and finish the toughest rally in the world.

So far we have entered and finished the Dakar Rally twice (’13 & ’14). Every participating vehicle of Race2Recovery had an injured serviceman on board. The crew working behind the scenes consisted of both injured and uninjured servicemen and civilian experts. Together they all went beyond injury to be able to achieve the extraordinary.

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Dakar 2013, Race2Recovery’s debut in South America, started out rough with 3 of our 4 Land Rover Defender- based Wildcats falling out at different stages along the way. The last remaining Wildcat ‘Joy’, with driver Major Matt O’Hare and co-driver Corporal Phillip ‘Barney’ Gillespie on board, reached the finish line after a harsh and heated, but extraordinary journey.

One year later Race2Recovery had the dusty start line of Dakar under our wheels again. With 2 Wildcats and a T4 Renault Kerax 4×4 Truck, we were determined to reach the same result (or even better) as the previous year. It was a gruelling adventure with both Wildcats dropping out within days. The T4 truck held strong with ‘Team Baz’ on board, Mark Cullum, Chris Ratter and Corporal Daniel ‘Baz’ Whittingham kept the truck on a steady pace during the whole race, reaching the finish line and creating history again!

The Dakar rally is the toughest rally in the world. The founder Thierry Sabine started the original Paris-Dakar in 1979 in Africa, after getting lost in the Libyan dessert. Since changing continents in 2009, the rally now takes place in South America and has seen many victories since! Crossing deserts, mountains, water, salt, gravel and mud, the Dakar Rally is a dream for many rally-enthusiasts to attempt! More info on the Dakar rally can be found at www.dakar.com.

 

Race2Recovery has many stories to tell about our time at the Dakar. Below you find some of the blogs written by team members and other news articles from the Dakar Rally. Enjoy!

Dakar archive

 

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This was Dakar 2016!

Even though we weren’t there, our team followed every win, crash and barrel roll! 558 vehicles started the Dakar 2016 with the dream of reaching the finish line without too many problems. Eventually only 218 teams were able to finish the toughest rally in the world. Stéphane Peterhansel takes a […]

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Experience: amputate leg

The Guardian – Erez Avramov – Goal to be Dakar’s first amputee bike rider

We had the privileged of being contacted by Erez last year and then meet up with him at SEMA last November.  We look forward to hearing more of him building up to 2016. For more information please visits Erez’s website: – http://www.erezavramov.com/  Experience: I chose to amputate my leg ‘The […]

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DAKAR RALLY 2014: RACE2RECOVERY TO DEBUT ON BRITISH EUROSPORT

GAUCHO NEWS!! New documentary follows a team of injured soldiers as they return to the Dakar Rally. Dakar Rally 2014: Race2Recovery is a half-hour documentary debuting on British Eurosport this Saturday (May 3rd) at 7.30pm. The show is a sequel to the critically acclaimed Dakar Rally: Frontline to Finish Line […]

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Land Rover Sponsored Race2recovery Makes History By Completing Second Consecutive Dakar Rally

Team build on 2013 achievement by becoming first disabled team to complete not one but two Dakar rallies Team’s race truck crosses 2014 Dakar finish line after 9,100km, whilst Land Rover Discovery support vehicles covered over 7,000 km of demanding on and off-road terrain Land Rover also providing all-terrain vehicle […]

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Ben’s Jan 17th Dakar video blogs

     

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BEN’S BLOG: – TEAM EFFORT SPRINGS US FORWARD.

Well, we have only gone and done it again! Team Baz successfully crossed the finish line of the 36th Dakar Rally. As usual it has been a roller coaster of emotions from the off set. When both the cars went out on day two I felt like my dreams had […]

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Alistair’s Dakar Blog – Jan 20th

They did it. On a Chilean mountainside, Daniel “Baz” Whittingham became only the second amputee ever to complete the Dakar Rally, and the first in the truck category. He follows his Race2Recovery team-mate, Philip “Barney” Gillespie, who became the first amputee to complete the Dakar last year when he teamed up with Major […]

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Race2Recovery have finished Dakar!

The Podium as seen from the top of the T4 truck! A picture speaks a thousand words; a true team effort and never giving up to get ‪#‎TeamBaz‬ and the T4 over the finish line of Dakar – The Ultimate Rally Race ‪#‎beyondinjury‬  

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Dakar Rally Video Blog – Alastair Weaver presents the T4 update

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Alistair’s Dakar Blog – Jan 18th

Today started at 4am when my tent was shaken furiously by Justin Birchall, Race2Recovery assistant team manager. “Get up, the truck’s in trouble, we’re going to RV with it.” One of the curiosities of spending life with a team of ex-military personnel is their reliance on acronyms in place of normal speech. […]

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Alistair’s Dakar Blog Jan 17th

When you’ve spent time with the Race2Recovery team, it becomes easy to forget that it was inspired by a desire to rehabilitate seriously injured servicemen. Philip “Barney” Gillespie ceases to be Barney the amputee and becomes Barney the genial Irishman. They’re no longer defined by their injuries, but that isn’t to belittle the impact […]

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Ben updates us on issues with the T4

 

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Ben’s video blog with John Goldie

 

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Alistair’sDakar Blog Jan 16

While the Race2Recovery truck does battle with the dunes of theDakar Rally, it’s worth sparing a thought for the support crew. For them, life on the Dakar isn’t nearly as glamorous as it sounds. For almost three weeks, they must survive a nomadic existence, moving from bivouac to bivouac across vast distances. […]

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Alistair’s Dakar Blog Jan 15

We’ve made our way across a sand field in our trusty Land RoverFreelander support car to reach the end of the ninth stage of the 2014Dakar Rally. We’re on the edge of the Pacific near the town of Iquique and just to reach here the teams have battled through the infamous […]

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BEN’S BLOG:- IT’S ALL ABOUT THE TRUCKS

So I’m now in the more familiar place I know on Dakar – the T5 truck. It hasn’t got leather seats or AC, but you do feel like king of the road in it. We’re currently on day 9 travelling between Calama and Iquique. Yesterday saw us cross the Andes […]

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Inmarsat has kept our guys connected during Dakar

The Inmarsat equipment provides the team with voice and real-time broadband data connectivity, however remote the location. The Race2Recovery team are relying on Inmarsat’s services to keep in contact even if they are in the most remote locations, such as the Atacama Desert and the Andes. They will be able […]

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Alistair Weaver’s Dakar Blog in the T4 Truck

 

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Baz’s Video Blog

Baz finally has time to send us his daily blogs so we can check out what its really like on the Dakar in the truck!                    

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Ben’s Dakar update for Jan 13

 

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Jan 12 Dakar Blog

  #TeamBaz have passed WP 6 on Stage 7 #dakar2014. They seem to be making steady progress and will be benefitting from the many hours of preparation and planning from the team. Photograph by Alistair Weaver       It’s very, very wet, but we’re ready for Stage 7 #TeamBaz#dakar2014. The trucks are […]

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Ben’s blog: From the Hot seat to Back Seat

So as much as I’m enjoying sitting here in a top of the range Land Rover Discovery with air con, it is far from where my heart wishes I was. On the 10th anniversary of my participation in the Dakar, and after an extremely busy 6 months of prep from […]

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Race2Recovery Dakar Rally blog, January 10

As I write I’m sat at the start of the second special stage in the leg from Chilecito to San Miguel de Tucumán of the 2014 Dakar Rally. It’s 8.32pm and the sun is heading off for a G&T. In half-an-hour’s time it’ll be properly dark. We’re waiting for the Race2Recovery truck, which […]

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The Race2Recovery team grab a rare moment of relaxation between stages Photo: GAUCHO PRODUCTIONS

Race2Recovery Dakar Rally blog, January 9

Right now, reporting from the 2014 Dakar Rally, I’m veering towards the disgusting end of dirty. My arms have a bronze colour that might be a suntan or it might just be grit – I’ll have to wait for the rest day to know for sure. There are showers in the […]

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Media Coverage

Race2Recovery in the News Check out some of the articles that have been posted online about the team. Race2Recovery Dakar Rally blog, January 8 Telegraph.co.uk-8 Jan 2014 Yesterday Race2Recovery were reminded just how tough the DakarRally … Quinn Evans and Tony Harris before retiring from the 2014 Dakar … Dakar Rally 2014: Race2Recovery injured soldier team set to begin … marathonrally.com-4 Jan 2014 […]

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Ex-soldier Sean helping injured soldiers tackle 9000km in 40+ degree heat at Dakar Rally

A FORMER soldier from Bournemouth is helping a team of disabled rally drivers competing in a famous endurance race. Sean Whatley is a mechanic in the support team for severely injured soldiers racing two Land Rover vehicles in this year’s Dakar Rally in South America. The 45-year-old helped the Race2Recovery […]

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Dakar Rally Video update January 7

 

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Go Team Baz!

This is #TeamBaz; Chris, Baz & Mark who have passed WP5 on Stage 4 carrying our dreams #dakar2014. Picture by Alistair Weaver — with Chris Ratter andDaniel Whittingham. You can track them on the Dakar website or on this Dutch site that uses ASO information, but is in an easier format to follow. The WP […]

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Dakar Rally blog, January 8

Yesterday Race2Recovery were reminded just how tough the Dakar Rally is. Losing both of the team’s Wildcat rally cars in a single day has been hard on everyone in this close-knit team. If you’re going to be successful in this epic event you have to commit 100 per cent, which makes the knocks even […]

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Ben briefs us on Day 2 activities

 

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Action from the bivouac

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A Fistful of Trophies with Red Bull Desert Wings

We’ll take the opportunity to share this great film from Red Bull Desert Wings so we can thank their teams at Dakar – The Ultimate Rally Race for sharing their bivouac and being a huge help, especially the KTM boys. http://www.redbull.com/uk/en/motorsports/offroad/stories/1331620925216/fistful-of-trophies-red-bull-desert-wings

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Tony’s update from the bivouac

R2R Driver Tony Harris, speaking from the team’s bivouac in San Rafael, Argentina, said: “We’re clearly very disappointed that we’ve had to retire two race vehicles. Our preparations had gone very well but this year’s experience just goes to show why they call the Dakar the toughest race in the […]

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Dakar Rally Blog, January 6

Not for no reason is the Dakar Rally the self-styled toughest motorsport event in the world. Today on stage two, both of Race2Recovery’s Wildcat’s have retired from the rally, while the race truck is still battling through the dunes after assisting other competitors. Tony Harris and co-driver Quin Evans had been […]

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Dakar Rally Blog, January 5

Not for nothing is the Dakar Rally hailed as the world’s toughest motorsport event. Last year Race2Recovery became the first amputee team ever to complete this gruelling race. This year, they’re back for another crack. Yesterday morning, two rally cars and a racing support truck left Rosario, Argentina to begin an event that […]

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Ben & Barney at the start of Dakar 2014

 

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The boys are back in Town!

Having arrived in South America, the boys got straight to work making sure the cars and trucks passed Scrutineering. Now you can follow all the action of our ‘Dakar 16’ on our official Dakar Live Tracking site here! Dakar Live Tracker 2014    

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Race2Recovery ready for Dakar Rally

Last January I became the first amputee to finish the Dakar Rally. For 5,000 miles and 1z5 days I co-drove for Major Matt O’Hare across the wilds of Peru, Argentina and Chile. Matt and I were part of Race2Recovery, a team of injured British and US servicemen who joined forces […]

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Land Rover support Race2Recovery for 2014 Dakar

Follow the Dakar live on your smartphone!

Get all the latest information free on the Dakar rally that will take place from the 5th of January to the 18th of January 2014. The most famous and toughest of all cross-country races in the World will this year take the competitors through Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. Find out […]

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Dakar Calendar

The arrival of the Dakar! It will be at this port’s Maripasa Terminal, with which the competitors of the South American Dakar were unfamiliar until now, that the vehicles which have come from Le Havre will be recovered.  January 2-4th The administrative checks for all the competitors will take place […]

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The racecars & trucks have landed in Argentina!

The Race2Recovery Wildcats and Support trucks have arrived in Argentina after 19 days at sea and are now waiting for us to come and pick them up from Campana Port! With more information about it from the Dakar site – The transatlantic crossing of the motorcycles, quads, cars and trucks was in […]

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Dakar on TV: “Bringing the dream to those who cannot be there”

As Thierry Sabine said: this is the mission entrusted to the television channels that will broadcast the images of the Dakar to the rest of the world.

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Dakar Challenge Awaits for the World’s Only Disabled Rally Team

Great article in the Huffington Post by Ben Whitmarsh!

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Land Rover official partner of Red Bull Desert Wings

Guess who gets to share the Red Bull Bivouac with the Desert Wings?

Great news from our sponsors Land Rover; they are the Official Partner to the Red Bull Desert Wings Dakar team for Dakar – The Ultimate Rally Race 2014 and we will share the Red Bull Bivouac throughout the race! http://newsroom.jaguarlandrover.com/en-in/land-rover/

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Dakar 2014 Map

Get ready Dakar 2014 – we have some unfinished business!

This map will become very familiar in January 2014 when we face the challenge of Dakar – The Ultimate Rally Race – we have ‘unfinished business’! Read more about the Dakar Rally here!

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Land Rover Sponsor Race2Recovery for Dakar 2014

Race2Recovery Sets Sail to Dakar

Race2Recovery, the only disabled rally-raid team in the world, have successfully loaded their compliment of race and support vehicles on the ASO (Amaury Sport Organisation) ship bound for South America for the start of the 2014 Dakar.

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November Countdown to Dakar

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Blog – Finish Line

Race2Recovery, the group of predominantly injured soldiers who formed a rally team to raise funds for Forces charities, were today celebrating making history by becoming the first ever disability team to complete the world’s toughest race – the Dakar Rally.

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Team Joy

Blog – Friday 18th Jan

We stood on top of the dune for three hours. It was thirty-five degrees Celsius, we could see for over 20km and we could see no-one else. Sun cream was applied, cameras were readied, GPS coordinates were confirmed and then Robby Gordon’s Hummer appeared, powering up the sand with an angry snarl. Man and machine were in charge of nature.

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Crossing Andes

Blog – Thursday 17th Jan

Today the Dakar Rally crossed back over the Andes to Copiapó, Chile. The journey began with a 392km road section, which should have been a relaxing drive through some of the world’s most desolate and dramatic scenery.

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Blog – Wednesday 16th Jan

There’s little to report today. The perilous stage from La Rioja to Fiambalá was cancelled due to flooding. The whole rally has thus been teleported forwards a day. “I just can’t believe it’s been cancelled,” said Major Matt O’Hare, “My co-driver, ‘Barney’ (Phillip Gillespie), and I were so looking forward to the dunes.”

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Blog – Tuesday 15th Jan

According to the official Dakar guide, today’s stage might have reminded, “the most open-minded of participants of Ireland in some places.” Race2Recovery’s resident Irishman, Philip ‘Barney’ Gillespie, wasn’t convinced.

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Blog – Monday 14 Jan

As if to punish the drivers for having a rest, the organisers made the ninth stage of the Dakar the longest in this year’s event. This was an 852km epic, from Tucumán to Cordoba that included a 593km special stage.

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Blog – Sunday 13th Jan

Today was the Dakar’s only rest day and the drivers and co-drivers had a decent night’s sleep for the first time in a week. For those still left in the rally it was also a chance to reflect on the hard work done and to look ahead to another challenging week.

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Blog – Saturday 12th Jan

Today was supposed to be another monster for the Race2Recovery team, but then the rain came and washed away the jeopardy. The special stage was cut short by flash floods and the team retired to the bivouac in Tucumán, Argentina, in spirits as high as the altitude.

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Blog – Friday 11th Jan

A third Race2Recovery Wildcat race vehicle has been forced to retire from the Dakar Rally as a result of an in-race accident whilst the team’s fourth race car has progressed into Stage 7, it was announced today.

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Blog- Thursday 10th Jan

THREE British members of the Race2Recovery team competing in the Dakar Rally in South America have been badly injured in a road traffic accident, it was confirmed early today. (Thursday)

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Blog – Wednesday 9th Jan

 

The Race2Recovery team of injured soldiers and civilian volunteers currently competing in this year’s Dakar Rally today confirmed that two of its cars have made it through a gruelling fourth day to compete in Stage 5, whilst another car has been forced to retire.

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Blog – Tuesday 8th Jan

This morning, the team woke to the sad news that the Wildcat of Captain Tony Harris and Cathy Derousseaux has been excluded from the Dakar Rally. Having returned to the bivouac after midnight at the end of Stage 2,

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Blog – Monday 7th Jan

“At 50km we thought we were out of the rally,” reckoned Marine Staff Sergeant Mark Zambon. “We had a major gearbox problem but we worked with the other Wildcat of Justin [Birchall] and Tom [Neathway] and

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Blog – Sunday 6th Jan

Day 2 on the Dakar brought more drama for the Race2Recovery team. The Wildcat of Tony Harris and Cathy Derousseaux suffered technical problems on the 242 km stage and was assisted by the team’s race truck.

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Cathy Tony

Blog – Saturday 5th Jan

Dakar veterans will tell you that the Rally can bite at anytime and on the very first day, it bit the Race2Recovery team. Just before start of the first special stage, the Wildcat driven by amputee Tony Harris

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Blog – Friday 4th Jan

Today’s been true to the old cliché about the calm before the storm. With the cars in parc ferme, the team have had a day to wash some clothes, take a deep breath and prepare for the extraordinary challenge that is the Dakar.

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Video from the Dakar 2013

These are the latest video clips sent back from the team.

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Blog – Thursday 3rd Jan

For the Race2Recovery team, today marked the end of the beginning. After almost two years of hard work, four Wildcat rally raid cars past scrutineering, climbed a ceremonial ramp, took the applause of the Peruvian crowd and officially began the world’s toughest rally.

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Dakar Ready!

Finally the time has arrived when we have waved goodbye to our ten vehicles which are now on route to Lima, Peru to start the Dakar in January 2013. It has been an astonishing journey for the last 18 months with some of the most incredible support and help we have ever witnessed and we would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been there for us. Also our new teaser for the upcoming documentary is out NOW so click here to see it.

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Dakar

Peterhansel descends the dunesThe Dakar is an incomparable human adventure whose history has been built in the finest deserts of the planet, it is amongst the major sporting challenges of our age. Like the mountains or the oceans, wide open spaces inspire adventurers. Taking part in the Dakar is more or less a competitor’s equivalent of climbing Everest, sailing round the world or rowing round the earth. Reaching the finishing line represents an exceptional challenge, sometimes the challenge of a lifetime. 

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The Dakar Rally 2013

The Dakar is an incomparable human adventure whose history has been built in the finest deserts of the planet, it is amongst the major sporting challenges of our age. Like the mountains or the oceans, wide open spaces inspire adventurers. Taking part in the Dakar is more or less a competitor’s equivalent of climbing Everest, sailing round the world or rowing round the earth. Reaching the finishing line represents an exceptional challenge, sometimes the challenge of a lifetime. 

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