The Dakar 2016 starts in Buenos Aires on 3 January with a record 556 competitors from 60 nations. There are expected to be 354 vehicles in the race, 143 motorcycles, 46 quad bikes, 110 cars and 55 trucks. For the comptetitors it is a race that combines difficulty of terrain with endurance, altitude, and navigational skill taking them to Jujuy and across the Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia before crossing back into Argentina to travel down the Eastern Andes to Salta, Belen, La Rioja and San Juan and across the Pampas to end in Rosario on 16 January.
For the organisers, there are huge logistics involved to cater for the needs of competitors, TV crews, the 1400 accredited journalists as well as all the spectators. The Argentine and Bolivian governments are providing fleets of helicopters and there are ambulances, tanks and troops on standby to support safety and evacuation systems.
Further information: www.dakar.com