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The Paris-Dakar 2005

29
November
2004
  Posted at 09:08:42 AM
  File under  Racing Dakar Race
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Normandy, France

Dakar 2005 logo
Well, it's almost time for the most mythical and tough race of the year, the Paris-Dakar. As mentioned a few months ago {link}, some of the regulations have changed, with the most important one for motorcycles being the limitation to 450 cc for twin engines. Also, this year the tragic loss of Richard Sainct will be hard felt.

The 2005 provisional rider list shows 224 entries on motorcycles (and 8 riders on quads and 1 on sidecar  - a shoe-in to win that category). The, rather KTM dominated, motorcycle category also shows 5 female entries, and 4 riders on the two wheel drive Yamaha WR450F-2 Trac, amongst other David Fretigne (who won his category on the pre-production 2 wheel drive last year).

The Official Route
Date
Start > Finish
Liaison
Special
Liaison
Total
31/12/04 Barcelona> Barcelona
6 km
4 km
8 km
18 km
01/01/05 Barcelona > Granada
919 km
-
-
919 km
02/01/05 Granada> Rabat
6 km
10 km
507 km
523 km
03/01/05 Rabat > Agadir
122 km
123 km
421 km
666 km
04/01/05 Agadir > Smara
240 km
381 km
33 km
654 km
05/01/05 Smara > Zouérat
121 km
492 km
9 km
622 km
06/01/05 Zouérat > Tichit
9 km
660 km
-
669 km
07/01/05 Tichit > Tidjikja
-
520 km
18 km
538 km
08/01/05 Tidjikja > Atâr
3 km
361 km
35 km
399 km
09/01/05
Rest day Atâr
10/01/05 Atâr > Atâr
8 km
483 km
8 km
499 km
11/01/05 Atâr > Kiffa
34 km
656 km
5 km
685 km
12/01/05 Kiffa > Bamako
25 km
586 km
208 km
819 km
13/01/05 Bamako > Kayes
205 km
370 km
93 km
668 km
14/01/05 Kayes > Tambacounda
93 km
529 km
8 km
630 km
15/01/05 Tambacounda > Dakar
108 km
225 km
236 km
569 km
16/01/05 Dakar > Dakar
37 km
31 km
-
68 km
  TOTAL
1 936 km
5 431 km
1 589 km
8 956 km


If I had to gamble and make a choice who'd win, my money would be on Fretigne. The WR450F was doing very well last year, and Yamaha didn't have all the spare parts available so they had to slow down. This year it's going to be different.

And what'd going to make it more different this year ???? I'm going to be there !!! Well, not as a competitor but as an active spectator. A friend and myself are planning to ride our motorcycles to Barcelona and ride with the race until they leave Morocco. They we turn around and head East and spend 3 weeks riding in the desert. So Jan 1st Barcelona - Granada, 2nd Granada - Rabat and 3rd of January, Rabat - Agadir.

Nick Plumb and Simon Pavey on their Dome BMW 650GS motorcycles
We hope to cheer on my former two off road instructors, Simon Pavey and Nick Plumb, who are both riding the Dakar (again) on their Dome Team BMW F650GSs. Last year both had a spate of bad luck and did not finish. This year, hopefully; they'll finish!
They've both finished before in previous races, and have finished well. We're starting it well, there's a party planned on the 31st with both rider......

We'll be bringing digital cameras and portable computers, so hopefully we'll be able to file a few stories with photos.

Click here to access the Paris-Dakar race site.





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