The 2004 Dakar has begun A light snowfall and the applause from an enthusiastic crowd of approx. 5000 spectators accompanied the start of the 2004 TelefÃ³nica-Dakar Rally today. 400 competitors, 142 of which were cars, 195 motorbikes and 63 ...
The 2004 Dakar has begun
A light snowfall and the applause from an enthusiastic crowd of approx. 5000 spectators accompanied the start of the 2004 Telefónica-Dakar Rally today.
400 competitors, 142 of which were cars, 195 motorbikes and 63 trucks, started with a prologue, a 1.5 kilometre long special stage, beginning at 12.00p.m. local time. The competitors ploughed through the muddy parallel course before they brought the 395 km liaison stage leading to Narbonne under their wheels. The two X-raid BMW X5 teams, Luc Alphand / Henri Magne and Grégoire de Mévius / Alain Guehennec, finished the fist special stage without any problems. They now hold onto 5th (Alphand) and 9th place (de Mévius), with a deficit of 3 seconds and 11 seconds respectively from the leader, the Japanese Shinozuka (Nissan pick-up).
Tomorrow (Friday) a 563 kilometre long stage will lead the competitors from Narbonne to the Spanish Mediterranean port city Castellón. A 25 kilometre special stage will have to be completed shortly after the start, on which the competitors will need to get down to business a bit more resolutely. A total of 11,163.5 kilometres are to be completed before the teams see the finish line in Dakar on January 18th, that is, if they come that far.