The start of the 2003 Telefónica - Dakar is for the first time organised in the Bouches du Rhône region. The Parc Chanot in Marseille will greet the start of the 25th edition, on January 1st.

After a night prologue in Marseille and a special in Spain, the competitors will board for Africa. Three countries will be crossed: Tunisia, Libya and Egypt with a magnificent finish at the Sinai Point. In total the 8.552 km (3.306 km of liaison and 5.216 km of special) will reveal to the competitors the most beautiful deserts in North Africa.

The 2003 edition is one of sand and dunes that the competitors will discover from the first African stage. From Tunis to Sharm El Sheikh, the route includes long specials, lots of off track driving and navigating on a wide variety of terrain. Emotion, discovery, sand, open spaces and breathtaking scenery : such is the recipe for the 2003 Telefónica - Dakar.

The finish will be on Sunday the 19th of January 2003 in Sharm-el-Sheikh (Egypt)

Details of the competition

17 stages:
3 in Europe
3 in Tunisia
5 in Libya
6 in Egypt

In Africa:
7 stages 642 km in total of which five 205 km are specials
7.797 km for assistance
1 rest day: Siwa
1 loop stage: Siwa - Siwa
1 marathon stage without assistance: Ghadamès - Ghat
2 stages without GPS: Silla - Zarir et Louxor - Abu Rish
Longest stage: Abu Rish - Sharm El Sheikh (828 km)
Shortest stage: Sharm El Sheikh - Sharm El Sheikh (56 km)
Longest special stage: Ghadames - Ghat (584 km)
Shortest special stage: Tunis - Tozeur (25 km)