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MOSCOW, March 22. /TASS/. Next year, the route of the world’s legendary FIA Dakar Rally will stretch across the South American territories of Peru, Bolivia and Argentina with the most challenging race scheduled to start on January 4, 2018 and finish on January 20, 2018 the organizers announced on Wednesday.
The organizers said they were glad that once again Peru joined for the upcoming 40th edition of the most challenging international race. Participants of the 39th edition of Dakar Rally, held two months ago, covered the route across Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina.
Peru filed a bid to be part of 2017 Dakar, but then had to withdraw appeal due to apprehensions surrounding the natural disasters caused by El Nino. Peru was part of the Dakar racing series twice in its history, first in 2012, when the country’s capital of Lima was the checkered-flag destination and then in 2013, when Lima was the jump-start point of the rally.
"The reunion with Peru in January, for the 40th edition of the rally will assure intense and emotional moments," according to the statement on the official page of Dakar racing. "Discovering the Ica desert made an impact on the riders and crews in 2012 and 2013.
"In January, they will have the opportunity to surf, once again, on these dunes that pose a demanding and varied challenge," the statement said. "Then a new version of the Andes trilogy will come, with the exploration of the two faces of Lake Titicaca to celebrate the entry of the rally in Bolivia."
Dakar Director Etienne Lavigne said commenting on the 2018 Dakar route in South America, and Peru in particular, that it would revive "indelible memories of wonder and excitement."
"Five years after our last visit to the land of the Incas, a joyous reunion seems to lurk behind every corner," Lavigne was quoted as saying by Dakar.com. "The 40th edition of the rally will unleash its creativity with the wide range of landscapes on the menu next January."
Vladimir Chagin, the head of Russia’s most decorated team in trucks category Kamaz-Master and the director of the Silk Way international race, told TASS he also welcomed the return of the Dakar racing series to the landscapes of Peru.
"I am really glad that Dakar returns to Peru, which is the country with the most picturesque landscapes for rally racing varying between sand dunes and mountainous terrains," Chagin said in an interview with TASS.
"Dakar was already held there (in Peru) on two occasions and participants of both races enjoyed it," Chagin said. "Next year is marking the 40th anniversary of the rally and organizing the race during this anniversary is a huge responsibility."
"The race must be interesting and memorable," Chagin, who is seven-time winner of Dakar Rally in truck racing category and nicknamed 'The Tsar,' said. "And the race will be indeed interesting considering the choice of the countries for its route (next year).".