Published on May 2nd, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
DAKAR 2016: ALL THE STAGE TOWNS
In the wake of the official announcement of the three countries that will host the 2016 Dakar, press conferences were organized in the three capital cities to reveal the towns where the bivouac will be installed throughout the race.
A warm and reunion like atmosphere quickly took hold of the reception hall occupied by the Dakar and all its Peruvian faithful in the centre of Lima this past Thursday. While all the rally competitors rejoiced, the locals have been the most eager for the race to return to their home soil or rather their home dunes and sand. The majority of those who have already taken part in the event were on hand, led by the only winner of a stage in Peru, Ignacio Flores, who starred at home in 2014. The four stages scheduled in Peru have all they need to win over the most demanding raiders, as the Minister for External Affairs and Tourism, Magali Silva, who is also concerned for the protection of the territories, explains: “I am thrilled to know that our preoccupations are shared by the Dakar organizers, the priorities are the safety of the competitors, spectators and our archaeological and cultural heritage. As of today, we are ready to work to make the 2016 Dakar an immense success.
La Paz was the next stop on the presentation tour with a very early morning meeting organized by President Evo Morales, who in the space of three years has become a regular and even a great supporter of the Dakar. The first two editions successively allowed the bike and quad categories, then the cars to discover Uyuni and its salt lake. This coming January, the entire rally will enjoy a genuine visit in the Bolivian high plains. For President Morales, the Dakar also represents an opportunity to demonstrate hospitality values: “In a very short period of time we have learned how to receive our visitors, because the Bolivian people admire and acknowledge the courage of the competitors. This rally expresses the qualities of friendship and generosity. It is a form of integration and exchange for our people”. Unsurpassed with a microphone in hand, President Morales yields the responsibilities of representing the country to an ambassador who is capable of expressing himself on two-wheels during the rally, “Chavo” Salvatierra who was present to reassure his supporters: “I have recovered from my injury suffered on the last Dakar, and already thrilled to know that we will ride for three days in the country.”
Like the triptych announced for the rally, the series of presentations concluded in Argentina, which has cultivated a unique relationship with the Dakar and its participants. Among the competitors on hand at Puerto Salguero along the banks of the Rio Plata, Javier Pizzolito and Lucas Bonetto learned that in the seven Argentinean stages scheduled for 2016, they will return to the Fiambala Dunes, among other revelry. Etienne Lavigne reminded everyone that « the quality of the links uniting the Dakar and Argentina makes it the only country to have hosted every edition of the Dakar held in South America. This country and most especially the Minister of Tourism, Enrique Meyer helped us to get the event back on its legs during a delicate transition period and has since shown a loyalty that is very close to our heart”.
The 2016 Dakar programme
6/01: Arequipa-Lake Titicaca
7/01: Lake Titicaca-Oruro
10/01: rest day at Salta
13/01: Beleé-La Rioja
14/01: La Rioja-San Juan
15/01: San Juan-Villa Carlos Paz
16/01: Villa Carlos Paz-Rosario