I am also beginning to feel that the Dakar is losing something because the stages definitely were not as long as in previous editions. The diifficulty level was not as hard either I dont think. Look at how many riders could not finish Stage 3 of 2009's Dakar for example. The liaisons were also largely shorter. Look at what Casseli said: The biggest surprise to me was how similar the actual racing is to Southern California desert racing. I felt like I was racing a National Hare and Hound everyday with some Baja roads mixed in. I was really comfortable with the terrain and different types of speeds we were going through. Thats not really what I thought the Dakar was supposed to be... Anyway if youre keen for something new and more in line with the Dakar of old is the development of this race over the next couple of years. At the moment the five day rally was reduced to only 3 days (the guys doing it need more sponsorship to make it a full time occupation) but its growing in popularity fast and permits larger bikes as well.