Priest in the Church of England. Trustee SPCK. Father, husband, son. "Small acts of Good change the world."

Dakar Cancelled

News has filtered into thelondonbiker news room that the Paris Dakar has been cancelled. This is huge news, the rally involving trucks and cars as well as hundreds of motorbikes, has run un-interrupted since 1979; although stages have been canceled in the past.

The guys who run the rally are not faint of heart, in fact they’re pretty damn brave most of the time with reports of locals taking pot shots at competitors quite common (not to mention the hundreds of injuries and the tragic deaths). But this year the organisers have announced that they are calling off the event because of, “direct threats against the race issued by terrorist groups”.

This has serious repercussions for the future of the race, it’s not clear yet what the financial issues will be, but I’m sure they’re not going to be able to sort this lot out in a month.

There’s still no official announcement on the Dakar site, but the ASO have said, “Following several consultations with the French government – in particular the ministry of foreign affairs – and taking into account its firm recommendations, the organisers of the Dakar have taken the decision to cancel the 2008 edition of the rally”.

Latest news direct from the rally camp via Rally RAIDio
I’ve not linked to the Dakar website because it causes a memory leak that eats your CPU .

3 Comments

  1. Patrick

    This is sad news. It’s been announced officially now 🙁

    I fear for the future of the event too.

  2. Simon F

    I really feel for all those competitors who must be gutted beyond words. The Dakar organisers must have thought long and very hard about this-but trying to police the whole route is impossible-so I guess the right decision, as any deaths at the hands of terrorists would have been even more tragic.
    Lets hope its the only time we ever see this happen-this is truly one of the worlds great mass feats of endurance and stamina of human and machine together, and will be sorely missed this year by everyone-not least by the many of the countries it visits and creates wealth and a showpiece for.

  3. mattcashmore

    my biggest concern is for the privateers who’ve put their life savings into getting onto the start line.

    Mind you I’m now beginning to think that the French government cancelled the whole thing because for the first time for years we had a really strong UK team!