For the fifth consecutive time, Bolivia will host the Dakar. This time it is not an incursion into the country that is scheduled, but a proper crossing of the country over five days, after the start in Peru and before the final portion in Argentina. While the riders and crews spend, as they did last year, their rest day in La Paz, the “aficionados” will have the chance to experience the world of this rally from a distance with the Feria Dakar that will be organised in Sucre, Bolivia's other capital on Friday January 12.

The Dakar's visit to Sucre will be an opportunity to learn about Bolivia's history and geography in the second capital city with La Paz. On the historical side, the city takes its name from Marshal Antonio José de Sucre, who was a brother in arms to Simon Bolivar, the Liberator of many South American countries in the 19th century. On the geography side La Illustre y Heroica Sucre, as it is known as formally, occupies a central position in the country although it is on the fringe of the route that was chosen for the Dakar 2018. The city is well representative of the general enthusiasm generated by the rally since its first appearance in 2014. “The Bolivian people is happy to see the Dakar competitors and passionate about them”, confirmed the Minister of Culture Wilma Alanoca Mamani at the San Francisco barracks, where she accompanied Marc Coma to present the Bolivian programme of the rally.

While the sporting director reminded everyone that the weather and climate conditions in Bolivia always add an extreme element to the stages, the warning doesn't scare the local competitors, who will be particularly well represented in the quad category. Their flag bearer, Walter Nosiglia, has twice had the joy of winning stages on his home soil. In his fifth participation, he is among the contenders for the win, and he is looking forward to heading to Sucre: “It is a good sign that this presentation ceremony is being done at Sucre, since I was born there! In any case, I know that the work done throughout the year is now done and now we are ready to take on this new edition”. Precisely and it will not be just any edition for his countryman Fabricio Fuentes, who has finished the Dakar twice and feels particularly enthusiastic about edition 40:  “This year, I turn 40, and I am delighted to once again take on this challenge to celebrate my birthday”. It's a date.

Source: Dakar / ASO