Dakar 2016 higher than ever before: 4.600 metres [UPDATE]

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The Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO) has announced more details on the 2016-edition of the Dakar Rally. The rally will start on 2nd of January in Buenos Aires (Argentina) and finishes in Rosario after fourteen stages. The rally contains around 5.000 kilometres of timed specials with a new challenge ahead: competitors will pass on 4.600 metres altitude.

354 participants will take the start on 2 January in Buenos Aires. The biggest category is the bikes with 143 entries. 110 equipes will take the start with a car, 46 participants start their journey on a quad. Lastly there are 55 participants in the Truck-category. 15.5% percent of the competitors for the 2016 Dakar have a French nationality.

The route

New sports director Marc Coma announced during the pressconference more on the route for the 2016 rally. The first stage on 2nd of January will be from Rosario to Villa Carlos Paz and covers over 258 kilometres. This stage will mainly be on rough and on hilly terrain

The second stage will start from Villa Carlos Paz with over 800 kilometres. 521 of these will be timed. The competitors arrive after a long day in Termas Rio Hondo where the bivak is at the well known circuit. On the next day competitors face a technical stage over 314 kilometre to the city of Jujuy.

Height will play a role from the fourth stage where participants will ride a route with start and finish in Jujuy. In the stage with a length of 429 kilometres, there will be around 3.500 meters of altitude. This will be topped on the next day when the participants reach the highest ever point of the Dakar Rally. On the 327 kilometre-long special to Uyuni they will pass on 4.600 metres altitude.

Stage six will be another loop, this time around Uyuni. Participants can expect a very long day with the longest stage of the rally: 542 kilometres. ASO promises a challenging dag for all competitors. On the last day for the restday, competitors will get through a wet stage over 353 kilometres to Salta.

After the restday, the landscape will change and on their way to Belen, competitors will face the first dunes of the rally during a stage of 393 kilometres. The ninth stage around Belen will be nearly 100% off-track, a true challenge for the navigators on board.

In stage ten the competitors will return to a familiair terrain, the Fiambala dunes. The stage with a total of 278 kilometres will lead the competitors to La Rioja. The eleventh stage will be a long one again with a total of 431 kilometres from La Rioja to San Juan.

The second to last stage of Dakar 2016 will be another long one. Over 481 kilometres the competitors will decide the final classifications with the finish the next day in Rosario. This stage will go from San Juan to Villa Carlos Paz.

180 kilometres of small tracks lead the competitors from Villa Carlos Paz to Rosario where the finish will be staged.

To be continued