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MOSCOW, December 26. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia's famous Kamaz truck-driving teams have been hailed in the run-up to the latest grueling off-road Dakar rally, set to storm the terrains of South America next month.
Battling contestants representing the world’s major truck producers, no other works team had achieved Kamaz successes in the competition's 35 years, said Russian Olympic Committee President Alexander Zhukov, wishing the racers good luck in Moscow on Thursday.
“We are here to defend our country’s name and to please our fans," winner of the last event's truck class Eduard Nikolaev told the gathering.
"This year’s Dakar is not an easy one for the route is longer and more difficult. We had a good deal of training sessions and we don't want to let our country down,” he said of an event which in 2013 brought the Russian team its 11th victory.
KAMAZ team leader Vladimir Chagin noted attention the coming event had won despite the excitement of Sochi's Winter Olympics.
“This year, around 20 vehicles will represent our country," he said. "We hope to meet our fans’ expectations and to please them with good news. But the organizers have made the route longer this year and will not be easy.