Record number of 17 women to compete in Dakar Rally

LIMA, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) — A record 17 women will participate in this year’s Dakar Rally when the event gets underway in Peru next week.The figure is three more than the previous all-time high set last year, though it remains dwarfed by the number of male competitors, which will exceed 500 in 2019.
Laia Sanz

Spain leads the way with four women followed by Germany, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Peru, with two each. Bolivia, France, Italy, Paraguay and Russia will all have one female competitor.

The highest profile female entrant is Spanish cyclist Laia Sanz, who finished ninth in the category in 2015. She has completed each of the eight editions in which she has participated.

Others include Russia’s Anastasiya Nifontova in the original motorcycle class and Spain’s Cristina Gutierrez, who last year became the first Spanish woman to finish the car category.

The 5,000km event, which will run from January 6 to 17, will begin and end in Peruvian capital Lima. The route includes five days in the Ica desert and a section in which competitors will tackle the world’s second highest sand dune – known locally as Duna Grande – which stands 1,700 meters high.

First staged in 1978, the Dakar Rally originally took place between Paris, France, and Dakar, Senegal. It was moved to South America in 2009 because of security concerns.

Source: Xinhua.net Image:Red Bull Content Pool