Welcome to our 2013 stage reports, presenting the rally on the way from Almeria to Dakar. Click on the particular day and check out the pictures, videos, results and multilingual information on the stage.
So finally the rally has kicked off for real. The rally caravan made it to Merzouga today. The temperature in the morning was near zero degrees. The start was 200km away, so the racers had an early start, and especially the bikers were well cooled off before the start off the special. Todays special was a mix off fast piste, rocks, sand and dried out riverbeds. The special finished at Erg Chebbi,(Merzouga), with its massive 300m high sand dunes. Unfortunately the Danish rider Thomas Clausen is out off the race due to a crash. Luckily no major damage. Generally the racers held a good pace on the fast piste, and they are looking forward to tackling another long day tomorrow. Results will not be ready before tomorrow due to late arrival off several teams, but it is clear that todays fastest was Spanish rider Victor Rivera. Next update will be from bivouac at M'Hamid.
Stage 3 will take us west along Morocco's southern frontier to M'Hamid. The special will be 196km long, mostly flat and fast with plenty of sand and fesh fesh to keep things interesting. The navigational challenges are many poorly defined paths, some leading to the next way point and some weiring off into impassable desert. Any mistakes will result in lost time and drop in the overall standings.