News has filtered into the journeytorussia 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-interupted 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