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.
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|
|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