The Dakar World Tour came to Bolivia to stage the dress rehearsal for the rally’s visit next January, when the country will set the scene for a marathon stage with the motorcycle riders’ bivouac on the Salar de Uyuni salt flat. President Evo Morales is rubbing his hands in glee!
“Intensity” is the buzzword in Bolivia, as proved beyond a shadow of a doubt during the visit of the Dakar World Tour. Etienne Lavigne travelled to the highest capital city in the world to meet the drivers, riders and media of what will be the 28th country to become part of the history of the Dakar come next January. He got a prestigious and massive welcome with over 350 guests attending the presentation conference. Bolivian president Evo Morales and three other members of his government made the trip to roll out the red carpet for the event. “I feel both proud and thrilled when I think of what will happen in a few months, when I think that Bolivia will join the Dakar family. For us, this is an opportunity to showcase to the entire world the grandness and mysticism of the Salar de Uyuni”, explained the head of state, who is already looking forward to the challenge facing the motorcycle riders in the seventh stage of the rally, right in the heart of the world’s largest salt flat. The spectacular and groundbreaking visit to Bolivia is shaping up as a decisive moment in the struggle for victory, as pointed out by Etienne Lavigne: “The riders in the motorcycle category will come up against a stage that stands out both for its beauty and for its toughness. Even at the end of the day they will be left to their own resources, since it will be a marathon stage where they’ll only be allowed to get assistance from other riders. This is the sort of ultimate challenge we like to see in rally raids, and Bolivians will get the chance to bask in all its glory in their first encounter with it.”