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February, 2006

Though marred by fatalies of competitor and spectator alike, Dakar (as it now exists) is unrivaled in motorsports competition. It is the Ironman of vehicular sport, and then some.

While Baja requires an intense shot of adrenelin to sprint from start and finish, Dakar requires the same intensity day after day, from driver/rider and equipment alike.

It’s a marathon that’s run like a dash. In other words, on a really good day I can imagine myself participating in the Baja – but there’s never been a day when I could see myself tackling Dakar.

December 31 Racers embark from Lisbon in Stage One

January 1 Still in Spain, Stage Two to Malaga

January 2 Riders cross the Mediteranean to Morocco

January 3 Chris Blais and Andy Girder hang tough for Red Bull KTM

January 4 Bivouac in Tan Tan

January 5 Into the desert – heads up for the mine fields

January 6 Grider out – Team Red Bull KTM looks to Blais

January 7 Sand, sand, sand – lost, found, lost, found

January 8 Rest day – time for a little overdue laundry catchup

January 9 Dakar loses a champion

January 10 Segment cancelled; Dakar looms closer

January 11 The terrain changes

January 12 Five thousand miles behind them, the riders near the finish

January 13 Blais finishes 4th overall

January 14 An abreviated Dakar pauses in a final remembrance

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