The 2010 year starts with one of the most prestigious races in motorcycle history. The Dakar rally celebrates its 32nd race this year, and for the second time in a row, will be held in South America. The famous ride, which typically takes place between Paris, France, and Dakar, Senegal, now stretches for 9000 km through the mountains and deserts of Argentina and Chile.
The race will be run from the Jan. 1 through the 17th, and will include bikes, quads, trucks and cars. For motorcyclists, a new rule has been made limiting the size of motorcycles to an engine size of 450 cc.
Stage one, which runs from Buenos Aires to Cordoba has been completed and the top five riders are all within minutes of one another.
David Casteu, of France, is the surprise leader after day one. Coming in at 1.50:00, Casteu and his Sherco 450cc are only three seconds ahead of his fellow countryman Cyril Despres. Last years winner Marc Coma, Spain, finished third for the day.
The first stage of the Dakar had its share of exiting racing, but it also was a place of tragedy. A vehicle driven my rider 418 veered off of the track at the 75km marker into a crowd of people. Several people were injured and rushed to the hospital. The crash proved fatal for one of the women spectators.