I'm not sure if anyone's mentioned this yet, but for historical comparisons sake don't forget ye olde Dakar of Africa days was run in the winter of the northern hemisphere. El nuevo Dakar is being run in the summer, so peoples memories seem to forget that a race in the extreme hottest park of the year for Argentina is being held up againsy a memory of a race that happened during the mildest temps of North Africa (exception of 1992 when they went to Cape Town) I'm no meterologist and someone can certainly look up some temps. But if Sabine had really wanted to make the Dakar as tough as possibke he would had scheduled departure in say July from Paris so everyone had to race through North Africa in the summer. But if he had done that it might have been considered foolish. I'm just saying that the heat of Argentina in the summer may be more extreme than the heat of North Africa during the winter and that its just possible they ran the race in the winter to be sensible to the competitor's health.