Dakar events calendar

04 Jan
Dakar 2020 Start Podium
Jeddah, KSA

Home to 3.5 million people, the second-largest city in the country is also its economic heart thanks to its commercial port on the Red Sea, which goes back to the 7th century. Just for once, the gateway to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina will also be a launch pad for the drivers, riders and crews of the Dakar. King Fahd’s Fountain, which ejects water at a speed of 375 km/h, and Jeddah Tower, which will soon reach a height of 1,001 m, will inspire the competitors with grandiose ideas and a burning ambition.

05 Jan
Dakar 2020 Stage 01
Jeddah to Al Wajh

The opening stage is far from a stroll in the park. It features everything that makes up this rally in quick succession: fast, winding, dunes, stones. With all this variety, this mini-Dakar is not to be underestimated.

06 Jan
Dakar 2020 Stage 02
Al Wajh to Neom

Mostly made up of tracks, this day’s challenge is technically accessible. But you start to get a feel for what makes Saudi navigation particularly difficult. It is time to learn to trust new landmarks, when multiple tracks lead to confusion. For bikes and quads, this is also the first part of the “Super Marathon” stage.

07 Jan
Dakar 2020 Stage 03
Neom to Neom

The circuit from the future megacity of Neom is a real gem. Taking competitors to the border with Jordan, the rally offers a series of canyons and mountains to explore on a carpet of sand. During this special stage, the Dakar will reach its highest point, at an altitude of 1,400 metres.

08 Jan
Dakar 2020 Stage 04
Neom to Al Ula

On the agenda this day you will find equal parts sandy stretches and gravel sections, mostly on tracks. However, do not confuse speed with precipitation, as the arduous navigation will require some clear choices. History buffs will be keen to get their cameras out as they pass close to Nabatean temples.

09 Jan
Dakar 2020 Stage 05
Al Ula to Ha'il

563 kmIn the sandy surroundings of the day, humongous rocks will serve as landmarks to avoid costly navigation mistakes! Less technical but just as impressive as dunes, gigantic sandy hills stand to attention in front of the drivers. The descents, occasionally scattered with desert grass, will require even more advanced driving skills.

10 Jan
Dakar 2020 Stage 06
Ha'il to Riyadh

The change of scenery is dramatic. This time, the special stage is 100% sand, entirely off-road. After a relatively fast first section, obstacle experts will have the advantage in the dunes. Drivers having previously honed their skills in the Sahara Desert will certainly have the upper hand. Then it will be time to rest.

11 Jan
Dakar 2020 Rest Day
Riyadh

The sprawling orchards that gave the city its name («gardens» in Arabic) in the 18th century have mostly given way to an urban area extending over more than 1,500 km2 (versus 105 km2 for Paris and 203 km2 for Buenos Aires) and home to over six million people. The demographic growth of the capital since the 1970s has gone hand in hand with the building of striking skyscrapers born from revolutionary architectural ideas, including the 267 m Al Faisaliyah Centre, 302 m Kingdom Centre and 307 m Burj Rafal.

12 Jan
Dakar 2020 Stage 07
Riyadh to Wadi Al-Dawasir

The resumption will be the opposite of a rest day… the longest stage in the Dakar and also one of the most varied. Dunes are scattered along the entire route and the drivers will have to cross small dune fields of a few kilometres. Between these climbing portions, off-road alternates with sectors with numerous crossings where the navigators will have to be on their toes at all times. Fast… but not too fast!

13 Jan
Dakar 2020 Stage 08
Wadi Al-Dawasir to Wadi Al Dawasir

The day’s loop is an opportunity to head south, where the competitors will find mountain landscapes, canyons and surprising colour contrasts: black stones on white sand, for example… Pure speed freaks will get what they want with a 40 km straight line, foot to the floor, while the few dune fields of the day will demand considerable dexterity.

14 Jan
Dakar 2020 Stage 09
Wadi Al-Dawasir to Haradh

With this long stage, the Dakar prepares to enter the “Empty Quarter”. The main factor will be driving precision, this time with mainly hard ground and a number of rough portions for those who are not careful enough. On reaching Haradh, built around oil and agriculture, the rally enters a new phase.

15 Jan
Dakar 2020 Stage 10
Haradh to Shubaytah

The marathon stage demands the ultimate quality in rally racing: endurance. The special in the first part sends the drivers and crews out into the vast off-road expanses of the Empty Quarter. It’s not a place where you should linger, as the route for the last 30 kilometres goes right through the dunes. And night falls in a flash! On arrival, only assistance between competitors is authorised.

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