The 41st edition of the Dakar Rally has begun today with the first stage Lima-Pisco comprising a road section of 247km plus 84 km of competition.
This is the first edition celebrated 100% on Peruvian soil.
It will be shorter than last year but with 10 extremely intense stages due to the challenging characteristics that drivers will encounter along the way, a path dominated by the dunes with 70% of sand.
Overall, the bikes (137), which first started today in reverse mode, will run 2951km (1834 miles) while the cars (130, which 30 are SxS) will face a total of 3096 km (1923 miles).
Also, 26 Quads and 41 Trucks complete a total of 334 vehicles racing in the Dakar Peru 2019.
During the two-week competition, the 541 competitors will have a day off to rest in Arequipa.
The Dakar Rally 2019 starts and finishes in Peru capital city, Lima.
Reigning champion Carlos Sainz is always a favorite, with twelfth Dakar appearances under his belt.
The two-time world champion is bringing all of his vast experience to the MINI John Cooper Works Buggy.
His teammates, Stéphane Peterhansel y Cyril Despres are serious contenders for the win.
Nassar Al-Attiyah driving for Toyota Gazoo Racing arrived in Lima as a strong contender to win this year after a solid preparation, as well as teammate, 2009 Dakar winner Giniel De Villiers.
The South African has fifteen participations in the Dakar, finishing eight times in the podium.
Also, two-time Dakar winner (2004 bikes, 2014 cars) Nani Roma is ready and focus to start this edition with a Mini 4x4.
Sébastien Loeb and co-driver Daniel Elena with their Peugeot customer PH Sport 2017--spec, the 3008DKR are among the elite drivers in contention but the dessert hides many secrets and as it happens at each edition, everything can happen.
KTM Factory Team is the one to beat, being a dominant force in the latest editions.
2016 Dakar winner, Toby Price is confident despite suffering a right wrist injury, only weeks before the Dakar started.
Reigning champion Matthias Walkner, 2017 winner Sam Sunderland, Laia Sanz and Luciano Benavides complete the team.
Honda: Joan Barrera and Kevin Benavides among the favorites.
Yamaha: Adrien Van Beveren is back after an awful crash during last year's edition, which kept him away from the bike for six months while recovering.
The stage is on a unique adventure in the defiant Peruvian desert.
Quads: Argentinian driver Nicolas Cavigliasso was the rookie of the Dakar 2018, surprising everyone as he finished second in his first participation.
Today he won the first stage.
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