Ricky Brabec in action

The official presentation of the detailed route for the 2021 Dakar Rally – set to take place in Saudi Arabia – was digitally published earlier this week, detailing not only the finalized route, but also the specifics regarding each stage. The ASO completed the final route for the 43rd Dakar with teams spending three weeks on the terrain in search of new and thrilling routes. The details reported back will see competitors forced to tackle more dunes, tougher treks and more navigation than the previous edition. ‘We want to give the competitors the very best’, outlined Dakar Race Director David Castera.

Castera laid out the finer points of each of the twelve stages, from the start in Jeddah to the finale in the great metropolis on the shores of the Red Sea some 7646 kilometres later – 4767 of which will be against the clock. The longest special stage will take in 511 kilometres on the penultimate stage, while the longest overall stage will feature a total of 813 kilometres on day four.

Dakar 2021 route

The shakedown, the curtain-raising prologue, the race-start on January 2 and the final finish will all take place in Jeddah. The twelve stages, scheduled from January 3 to 15, 2021, with a rest day in Ha’il, will make a trek counter-clockwise through the Saudi Arabian landscapes. The race will feature one marathon stage following the rest day, where riders will be unable to receive mechanical assistance and will have to take extra care of their machines.

Riders can look forward to a wide variety of complex stages, always a common feature at the Dakar, or as Castera put it in the presentation, “We never know just what is going to happen next.” Other data regarding this new edition include: 109 motorcycle participants among a total of 328 vehicles entrants. A total of 560 participants from 49 countries will take the starting ramp of the world’s toughest race.

Ricky Brabec Dakar 2020 winner

Dakar 2021 – New Regulations

Among the novelties to be included in the 2021 Dakar, will be the roadbook given out 20 minutes prior to the start in each of the stages. This differs from last year’s edition where the roadbooks were distributed in this manner on only half of the stages. An important change is the limitation of only six rear tyres for the entire rally, which will force riders to be far more cautious. There will be also a limit to the number of piston changes, as well as a ban on carrying out any mechanical repairs during the refuelling. Finally, the use of jackets with airbags will be mandatory for all motorcycle riders.

PSaturday, January 2, 2021Jeddah > Jeddah11 km11 km
1Sunday, January 3, 2021Jeddah > Bisha622 km277 km
2Monday, January 4, 2021Bisha > Wadi Al Dawasir685 km457 km
3Tuesday, January 5, 2021Wadi Al Dawasir > Wadi Al Dawasir630 km403 km
4Wednesday, January 6, 2021Wadi Al Dawasir > Riyadh813 km337 km
5Thursday, January 7, 2021Riyadh > Buraydah625 km419 km
6Friday, January 8, 2021Buraydah > Ha’il655 km485 km
Rest daySaturday, January 9, 2021Ha’il  
7Sunday, January 10, 2021Ha’il > Sakaka737 km471 km
8Monday, January 11, 2021Sakaka > Neom709 km375 km
9Tuesday, January 12, 2021Neom > Neom579 km465 km
10Wednesday, January 13, 2021Neom > Al-Ula583 km342 km
11Thursday, January 14, 2021Al-Ula > Yanbu557 km511 km
12Friday, January 15, 2021Yanbu > Jeddah452 km225 km