35 motorbikes competitors, 110 in Cars and 34 in Trucks will cross Morocco and Mauritania before crossing the finish line at Lac Rose in Senegal on Sunday 14th January. 91 vehicles will actually be racing: 34 bikes, 1 quad, 35 cars, 9 SSV and 12 trucks. They represent 27 different nationalities. They were all excited and emotional at the start – last chance to say goodbye to family and friends, take a few photos they were off. Next stop Sete, where they will board the boat for Morocco. There were smiles all round and the pride in being able to take part in adventure like this was evident. “Let’s do this!” exclaimed Julie Vanneken as she mounted the starting block for her second time a bike rider in this race. Potential winner of the car category, Matthieu Serradori (MCM) is keen to get to Morocco: “We’re ready, we’ve been working towards this for a year. Only two days on the boat and the real work will begin.” Before that, however, everyone got their moment in the sun in Monaco, joined together with one common goal: to get to Dakar in 2 weeks time.
Jean Louis Schlesser – Organiser : “This morning in Monaco was incredible. We witnessed yet another race start from Monaco, making sure everything possible is done to ensure everyone gets to Sete for the boat this afternoon. After that, we will celebrate bringing in the New Year together.”
Rene Metge – Sport Director : “It is always a pleasure to see all the competitors gathered here. This year they are going to experience a particularly difficult course, lots of navigation and some spectacular landscapes.”