Dakar back to Africa 'a 50:50 chance'

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Dakar_Back_To_Africa.jpgAccording to helicopter tow truck operator and Dakar race director Etienne Lavigne, the epic race stands “a 50:50 chance” of returning to Africa next year, although this time around, it could be through relatively terrorist free countries like Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. Yeah, that doesn’t sound much safer than west Africa to us either, but a return to the Dakar’s spiritual home does appear to hold significant appeal to the race’s organizers.
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The current route through Argentina and Chile has proved surprisingly
successful for the last two years, not only for its political ease and
lack of landmines, but also for dramatic racing and media attention.
The problem seems to be that many of the Dakar’s traditional
competitors, European privateers, have been priced out of competition
by the Atlantic Ocean.

“We have two formal proposals of the Governments of Argentina and
Chile, as we have received three letters of invitation of the
Government of Tunisia, Libya and Egypt,” Lavigne continues. It will be
a terrible choice. We’ll decide which to take in the coming weeks.”

France2 via Motorbiker.org

  • Scottdc

    I wonder if Libya will make an exception for Americans in the Dakar as they are normally not allowed into the country.

  • lance

    Well I have been to Libya with US citizens and other than some airport BS that likely could have happened in any number of countries we had no problems. Even if they had some rule about US citizens they woudl be stupid to enforce it and risk losing this race. That weirdo they got for a leader is a race fan bigtime too.
    I think it is a great idea for the race to go back to Africa, they should throw Morocco int here too and start it from France too.

  • lance

    Well I have been to Libya with US citizens and other than some airport BS that likely could have happened in any number of countries we had no problems. Even if they had some rule about US citizens they would be stupid to enforce it and risk losing this race. That weirdo they got for a leader is a race fan bigtime too.
    I think it is a great idea for the race to go back to Africa, they should throw Morocco int here too and start it from France too.

    • Tomas

      Problem with riding from Morocco is that you must go through Argelia which is sadly unsafe now to get to Tunisia. Morocco is beautiful though, but it’s a cul-de-sac for an African Rally.

      And no, Egypt or Tunisia are tourist friendly countries, while Sudan or Argelia are war ravaged. There are lots of differences between African countries, although all of them are beautiful and make exciting riding (dodging bullets is not worth, anyway :-)

  • Robert

    Tunisia, Libya and Egypt are MUCH safer than west Africa.
    Sounds like you should study up on your geopolitics…

  • CafeRacer1200

    Obviously, I wouldn’t want to see any competitors harmed but it sure would be nice to have the race back in Africa. I realize the political climate needs to be considered. I have no solutions. I’m just hoping.

  • http://www.endurohp.eng.br Leonardo

    For safe, why not stay in south america for one more year our two?
    And maybe go to Brazil?

  • Kidchampion

    I like South America as the site for Dakar. This recent rally was great; the landscapes are incredible and the SA people have really begun to embrace the event. And it doesn’t lack any of the exotic qualities of Africa – one day they’re riding by a mmammoth sculpture of a hand in the middle of a barren desert and the next day a rider ditches her motorcycle into a giant tomb. I would like to see more privateers competing as strongly as Jonah Street but there must be a way to provide incentives, or funding, to the smaller but viable competitors.

  • vic

    make an african dakar and an south-american one.i ve seen the big picture entry and it would be sad to see the curent south american competition being abandoned

  • http://twitter.com/codylongworth Myrl Hamers

    Nice post. Keep up the good work

  • http://godkostvejledning.blogspot.com/2007/11/sund-mad-pa-kostplanen.html Marcela Novembre

    Diplomacy is the art of saying “nice doggy” until you can find a rock.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hisham-Hammad/100000689011926 Hisham Hammad

    Dakar should be held back in Africa.