Dakar 2017 “Recon” in Bolivia: surprise, surprise!
Following 27 cumulative days in Bolivia, Marc Coma and the reconnaissance teams partially reveal what is in store competition wise on next year’s Dakar. Exploration, overcoming obstacles, adventure and the unexpected will be at the heart of a challenging course.
Lots of surprises…
One objective: the unexpected. A daring and surprising course has been outlined for the five days of competition in Bolivia. “The competitors will be surprised by the landscape and the difficulty of the terrain they will face in Bolivia”, says Dakar Sporting Director Marc Coma. “We will indeed explore together what everyone thought they knew after three previous editions in the Uyuni region."
In total, six days of sand zones, dunes and overcoming obstacles will enliven a very “African” like environment during the Bolivian section of the 2017 Dakar.
In addition to sand, a tremendous amount of lost or forgotten tracks and large off-road areas will spotlight exploration and the sharpest navigators.
As of today, several timed stages longer than 450km have been drawn out, while a special stage of 620km will be one of the highlights of the 2017 edition.
The town of Uyuni, at 3200m above sea level, will host the marathon bivouac for all the categories. Deprived of their assistance staff, the riders and crews will have the chance to help one another carry out the needed repairs and wear checks in what could look like a large workshop.
During the opening week, an all-new type of marathon stage could see the light of day, primarily concerning the leaders of each category. The details will be revealed during the press conference on 23 November, 2016 in Paris.
Make navigation more specific
Traditional Dakar navigation instruments (GPS) will be limited: some functions will be banned to spice up navigation. The WPCs (Way Point Control), successfully tested during the newest addition to the Dakar Series, the Afriquia Merzouga Rally last May, will be used. Already dreaded by navigators, their role is to guarantee that the itinerary is respected and to make navigation more precise.