Share 1 to the 14 of January of 2022, Saudi Arabia will be the scene of the 44th edition of the Dakar rally. This third incursion has a completely renewed route with the sand as the main protagonist.
The competition, divided into twelve stages, it will have a total travel of 8.177 kilometers which 4.258 km correspond to special tests. While the remaining 3.919 km they are liaison.
RALLY DAKAR 2022: THE STAGES IN DETAIL
01/01 | STAGE 1 A | Jeddah-Ha'il
Total: 834 km> Special test: 19 km.
The exercise of traveling 19 kilometers, between two long links, on dirt tracks and a small dune, will serve to verify that the vehicle is doing well, but also to order the pilots according to their level for the next day's departure. The results of the day will also allow a particular ceremony to be held during the briefing: the first 15 of each category will choose, in reverse order of classification, their position at the start of the 1B special ... the excitement is guaranteed!
02/01 | STAGE 1 B | Ha'il-Ha'il
Total: 546 km> Special test: 334 km.
Northern Saudi Arabia offers mountainous landscapes that add to the contrasts on the Dakar journey. The sand makes an appearance, although at this stage it will still be mainly in the form of tracks. In any case, there will be no lack of navigation difficulties characteristic of the country. The drivers will immediately get into the matter: nothing to take liberties with the road-book, since they will be penalized with chronometric sanctions.
03/01 | STAGE 2 | Ha'il-Al ArtaWiyah
Total: 585 km> Special test: 339 km.
The first dunes of the rally appear. They will be decisive in setting the general tone for Dakar 2022 and will screen the contenders for the top spots. However, it can be risky to attack on this first day of a marathon stage: only the competitors will be able to help each other when they arrive at the maintenance park.
04/01 | STAGE 3 | Al ArtaWiyah-Al Qaisumah
Total: 554 km> Special test: 368 km.
The dose of sand of the day, of considerable quantity, will make up the first part of the special. The second part, faster, might seem a priori more affordable from a technical point of view. However, be careful with the continuous crossings of tracks, which can be misleading and, consequently, cause loss of minutes, setbacks or miscellaneous detours. Proper tire management will also be necessary if you want to finish the marathon stage without problems.
05/01 | STAGE 4 | Al Qaisumah-Riyadh
Total: 707 km> Special test: 465 km.
The Dakar heads south to the capital of Riyadh. The longest special of the rally stands as a complete menu of rally-raid joys: a first course of fast tracks for about 200 km, a second course consisting of dune cords of varying size and for dessert a stage finale stony, in which a sequence of wadis will stand out. This is one of the acid tests of the first week.
06/01 | STAGE 5 | Riyadh-Riyadh
Total: 563 km> Special Test: 348 km.
Competitors will head east from Riyadh to tackle a stage that involves an abrupt change in tone compared to the previous ones. The dirt and rock tracks at the beginning of the day will put the arms of the motorcycle riders to the test, who will have to conserve a maximum of energy to face the long stretch of dunes of about 80 kilometers. At the end of the stage there could be considerable time differences.
07/01 | STAGE 6 | Riyadh-Riyadh
Total: 635 km> Special test: 421 km.
To round off the first week of the rally, the second loop starting and ending in the capital will explore western Riyadh. The numerous track crossings at the start of the special will demand maximum attention from the co-drivers. The dunes of the day will appear in the middle of the program, with about XNUMX kilometers of ergs to overcome. Those drivers who manage to open a gap in this section will be able to try to increase their advantage on the fast tracks planned at the end.
08/01 | REST DAY | Riyadh
09/01 | STAGE 7 | Riyadh-Al DaWadimi
Total: 700 km> Special test: 401 km.
The Dakar will enter uncharted territory after the break. The day of exploration will begin with about 100 km of dunes in a continuous succession of ergs that will seem to have no end. After this extreme exercise of overcoming the dunes, the driving will become less complex, but the labyrinth of tracks could put the nerves of both drivers and co-drivers to the test.
10/01 | STAGE 8 | Al DaWadimi-Wadi Ad-DaWasir
Total: 828 km> Special test: 394 km.
Long connecting stretches and a sandy schedule will make the journey to southern Saudi Arabia seem endless. During the first 200 kilometers of the special, everything will be sand and dunes in the advance of the competitors valley after valley. At the end of the day, the landscape will finally change ... either in the afternoon or even at night, since the difficulty of the stage could delay many.
11/01 | STAGE 9 | Wadi Ad-DaWasir-Wadi Ad-DaWasir
Total: 490 km> Special test: 287 km.
The starting gun for the Wadi Ad Dawasir loop will take place a little later so that they can withstand the stragglers from the previous day: the resistance of vehicles and people now becomes a determining parameter. The first presence of mountains and then of tracks that meander between the canyons will significantly modify the driving. It will reduce the sand, but not the difficulty, especially when it comes to navigation.
12/01 | STAGE 10 | Wadi Ad-DaWasir-Bisha
Total: 757 km> Special test: 374 km.
This is a special dedicated to beauty, with variations in relief and colors that will amaze the competitors from start to finish. The pleasure for the eyes will be accompanied by the pleasure of driving, with an average that will undoubtedly be one of the highest. But do not rush because of speed, especially since competitors will have to deal with a large number of track crossings, a house brand in Saudi Arabia.
13/01 | STAGE 11 | Bisha-Bisha
Total: 500 km> Special test: 345 km.
Nothing will be decided before the Bisha loop, in which the podium could radically change. At the end of the rally, the competitors are faced with a technical challenge in which the vehicles will be submerged in dunes practically half the time. A menu of dunes of all kinds and in all possible forms awaits you, including the softest ones that the desert offers. The last battle will be epic!
14/01 | STAGE 12 | Bisha-Jeddah
Total: 676 km> Special test: 163 km
The dunes have been left behind, but not the sand that will still cover most of the tracks planned for the last special. Thanks to the experience gained from the start of the rally, the competitors are sure to enjoy driving at this stage to the fullest. After that, they will only have to finish the long link until they reach the Red Sea and the final podium on the Jeddah ledge.