Late Dakar route change

The updated route pic: Dakar

The route for this year’s Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia has undergone a slight change just two days prior to the start of the event.

The finish for Stage 5 and start of Stage 6 has been moved around 400km northeast to Al Qaisumah, from Buraydah.

As such, the length of Stage 5 increases from a total of 625km to 662km and a special of 419km to 456km.

However, that is perfectly offset by Stage 6 dropping from a total of 655km to 618km and a special of 485km to 448km.

No explanation has yet been given for the tweak.

Last year’s Dakar route was changed during the event in bizarre circumstances, after organisers realised that construction of a gas pipeline would otherwise get in the way.

The modification, which only came to light on the eve of the final stage, saw timed running that day slashed from 374km to 167km.

The 2021 route is all-new relative to Dakar’s first visit to Saudi Arabia, last year, and competitors will now only receive their roadbooks just before the start of each stage.

Scrutineering takes place on January 1-2 (local time), with the Prologue and Start Podium held on the latter of those days.

Dakar 2021 route Updated

Stg Date Start > Finish Total km Special km
P Sat 2/1 Jeddah > Jeddah 129 11
1 Sun 3/1 Jeddah > Bisha 623 277
2 Mon 4/1 Bisha > Wadi Ad-Dawasir 685 457
3 Tue 5/1 Wadi Ad-Dawasir > Wadi Ad-Dawasir 629 403
4 Wed 6/1 Wadi Ad-Dawasir > Riyadh 813 337
5 Thu 7/1 Riyadh > Al Qaisumah 662 456
6 Fri 8/1 Al Qaisumah > Ha’il 618 448
Rest Sat 9/1 Ha’il
7 Sun 10/1 Ha’il > Sakaka 737 471
8 Mon 11/1 Sakaka > Neom 709 375
9 Tue 12/1 Neom > Neom 579 465
10 Wed 13/1 Neom > Al-`Ula 583 342
11 Thu 14/1 Al-`Ula > Yanbu 557 511
12 Fri 15/1 Yanbu > Jeddah 452 225

Distances identical for all classes

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