A little over a month before the big start, the route of the 44th edition of the Dakar was unveiled this Sunday. For the third consecutive year in Saudi Arabia, the event will take the 750 crews over 8,177 km of the race (including 4,258 km of special).

Competitors will be launched into the deep end on January 1. The usual prologue will be replaced by stage 1A. Of the 834 km that separate Jeddah from Ha’il, 19 km of special will determine the starting order for the next day. New this year, the winner of this sprint will have “the king’s choice” and will decide his position.

“I didn’t think it was fair for the winner of the prologue to start first for the first stage, it can be a punishment at times,” explains David Castera, director of the Dakar. The idea, now, is really that the first choose the moment when they want to leave. It’s a reward. “

On the road that will take them to Jeddah, the drivers will be dealing with the marathon stage from January 3, followed on January 5 by the longest special of this edition: 465 km between Al Qaisumah and Riyadh. The route, 70% renewed compared to last year, includes five loops, including two around Riyadh, where the rest day will take place on January 8. “We decided to focus on sand and dunes,” warns David Castera. There will be some every day, that will be the common thread of this Dakar. “

Related title :
The full Dakar 2022 route unveiled

Ref: https://www.lequipe.fr