The "threat" of the Dakar champion Fernando Alonso, Sainz and the rest of the competitors

Al Attiyah, Dakar champion last year has "threatened" Fernando Alonso, Carlos Sainz and the rest of the drivers with not giving them a choice in the Dakar that is already starting. "I'm ready to win ... I'm going to kill you all," he said.

It was a metaphorical threat, although it is undoubtedly one of the closest is, a priori, to victory. Carlos Sainz is willing to fight until the end, while Fernando Alonso knows that his options are reduced because it opens this year.

The Dakar rally starts rolling this Sunday with all its caravan this time through the desert of Saudi Arabia, the new stage for the biggest rally in the world, whose call for participants maintains the same power after the change of continent.

After the atypical and concentrated version of last year in Peru, the Dakar returns to recover in Saudi territory all the monumental dimensions that always characterized it, with a route that in total will reach almost 8,000 kilometers.

The dimensions of the Dakar, whose new edition will be held from January 5 to 17, become relevant with the following figures of this edition:

7,855 KILOMETERS. The tour that the Dakar caravan will take through the Arabian peninsula is equivalent to crossing the Atlantic Ocean. It will have in total almost the same distance that exists in a straight line between Madrid and Cancun (Mexico). Of all that route, more than 5,000 kilometers will be timed.

571 PARTICIPANTS. Of the more than half a thousand contestants, only 12 will be women, which represents a 2.10% female quota. Only one vehicle will be integrated only by women. This is the UTV (light buggy) piloted by the Italian Camelia Liparoti with the German Annett Fischer as co-pilot.

342 VEHICLES By the podium of exit of Jeddah, the second largest city of Saudi Arabia and main exit door to the Red Sea, 144 motorcycles, 83 cars, 46 trucks, 46 UTV (light buggies) and 23 quads will pass.

1 FORMULA CHAMPION 1. A quarter of the participants will be debutants who for the first time challenge the Dakar, but among them there is one that draws attention above the rest: the Spanish Fernando Alonso, who will be the first world champion in Formula 1 who competes in the Dakar.

3,000 nomads. In addition to the 571 participants, there are another 2,500 people including mechanics, technicians, journalists, doctors and service personnel who live throughout the rally at the Dakar mobile camp and every day they travel by military aircraft or by road from the point of departure upon arrival

60 NATIONALITIES. In the caravan of the Dakar there are represented almost a third of the countries of the globe among pilots, co-pilots and mechanics. The largest group are the French, followed by the Spaniards and the Dutch but there are also runners from exotic countries such as Botswana and Zimbabwe.

15 MILLION DOLLARS. It is the price that the Government of Saudi Arabia has paid to the Amaury Sport Organization (ASO), a French company that organizes the Dakar, for the world rally to reach its desert for the first time, after eleven consecutive years in South America and another thirty previous in Africa.

50 LOAD TRUCKS. A convoy of fifty large cargo vehicles has the mission of moving all the materials and equipment of the camp every day to the point of arrival of the stage.

7 AIRCRAFT AND 10 HELICOPTERS. In total there will be 17 aircraft at all times that will control the race from the air to have all participants located by GPS, capture the impressive aerial images that will then be transmitted to 190 countries and help the pilots who have suffered an accident.

91,000 FOOD RATIONS. Each day at the Dakar camp there is an average of 7,000 portions of food between breakfast, lunch and dinner. The kitchen is open practically 24 hours a day and the amounts of food for the thirteen days of competition are huge, including about two tons of pasta. EFE


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