Could Dakar Go to Saudi Arabia?


Sara Garcia at Dakar 2019
Image from Sara Garcia's Facebook

It Seems Multiple Locations Want the Race

Not long ago there was a rumor about the Dakar race leaving South America and going back to Africa. The race originated there, but it left the continent in 2009 due to security concerns. Now, it seems Saudi Arabia would like to host the race. According to RideApart, the country wants to host the race.

The publication pointed to rumors that the country was going after the Amaury Sport Organization, but there was also an Instagram post from Saudi Arabian rally driver Mohammed Altwaijri. In it, he said Dakar was heading to Saudi Arabia thanks to a five-year agreement.

Amaury Sport Organization puts together Dakar and has not yet said whether or not there is any validity to the racer’s post. There’s also no indication when this will occur. It could take place years down the road, though RideApart noted that it could happen as soon as 2020. That would be pretty quick.

Honestly, taking the race to Saudi Arabia might not be a bad thing. The country is on the up financially and investing heavily in its future. It established a Sports Development Fund used to attract large sporting events to the country. Also, the Amaury Sport Organization did have some trouble with the original race route this year, according to RideApart. Maybe there would be fewer issues in Saudi Arabia.

I honestly think it would be cool to see the race return to Africa not go to Saudi Arabia. With that said, I’m not opposed to it going there. Whatever makes the race better is what the Amaury Sport Organization should do. 

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