While most of us are getting plump over the holidays and taking time off, a select group of men and women are putting the final touches to their fitness and their racing gear.

On January 6th they’ll be embarking on the brutal 5,000 km (3,100 miles), 10-stage 2019 Dakar Rally, with an extra 3,000 kms (1,860 miles) in special stages. This year, a daunting 70% of the race will be run on the sands of Peru, the country which hosts the race from start to finish.

2018 Dakar Rally — Image courtesy ASO/Dakar Rally

The Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), the event organizer, had hoped to start the race in Chile and end in Ecuador, or maybe even include Bolivia, but couldn’t reach an agreement with any of those nations. So Peru it is, with the race beginning in Lima and also ending there on January 17th.

ADVRider will actually have a representative there to give us a first-hand account of what it’s like to follow the race on the ground.

Eglė/@EvergreenE will be posting (when she can get an internet connection!) You can read her account of how others follow the Dakar right here.

To help get you in the mood, here’s a video with highlights of the 2018 Dakar Rally.

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