Very early tomorrow morning the lead bikes will leave the parc ferme at Mar del Plata to start the first stage of the 2012 Dakar. In total 742 bike, car and truck competitors will head out of the resort town, with the firm intention of reaching the capital of Peru 15 days and 8, 373 kilometres later.
“As always, after several days of packing, unpacking, testing and scrutineering, I am more than ready to start racing. Tomorrow we only have 56 kilometres of special, but a very long 820 kilometre stage to get to our first bivouac in Santa Rosa de la Pampa.
I honestly don’t expect it will be the most challenging stage of the rally but the fact that, for the first time since 2007, the Dakar is itinerate, definitely adds to the anticipation. To go from the Atlantic Ocean, south to north, over a huge mountain range, to finish three countries later on the Pacific coast, gives a sense of scale to the vast distances we will cover.
As always I will endeavour to keep you informed of my progress. A very Happy New Year to you all.
Picture: Marcelo Maragni/Red Bull Content Pool