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Dakar Rally to start in Peru in 2013

It will be the fifth year in a row that the Dakar has been held in South America. — Reuters file picIt will be the fifth year in a row that the Dakar has been held in South America. — Reuters file picLIMA, March 21 — Next year’s Dakar Rally will start in Peru for the first time and end in Chile after crossing the Andes into Argentina, organisers said today.

It will be the fifth year in a row that the Dakar, a gruelling event that started out as a race from Paris across the Sahara desert to the Senegalese capital Dakar, has been held in South America.

The event, which has claimed numerous lives over the years and will be in its 35th edition next year, was switched from Africa to Argentina in 2009 for security reasons.

The 2013 rally will start in Lima — the finish of this year’s edition — on January 5 and end in Santiago on January 20, with a rest day in San Miguel de Tucuman in Argentina.

“Peru, Argentina and Chile, explored on a north to south journey, will offer the Dakar a different angle of attack on the Pacific Coast, the Atacama’s dunes and the Andes Mountains,” said Dakar director Etienne Lavigne in a statement. — Reuters