The 2012 Dakar Rally

More than 500 teams are currently speeding across the deserts of Argentina, Chile, and Peru, racing more than 8,300 km (5,150 mi) in the 33rd annual Dakar Rally. Competitors pit themselves against the elements, driving specialized off-road cars, trucks, motorcycles, and quadbikes through challenging terrain for two weeks. One rider, Argentine Jorge Martinez Boero, has already died this year in a crash. The 2012 Dakar Rally began in Mar del Plata, Argentina, on January 1, and racers will reach the finish line in Lima, Peru, on Sunday, January 15 -- after which I will add a few more photos to complete coverage of this year's competition. [69 photos total]

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1
Stefan Svitko rides his KTM during the 10th stage of the Dakar Rally 2012, from Iquique to Arica, Chile, on January 11, 2012. (Reuters/Jerome Prevot) #
2
All the motorbike riders pose for a group photo during preparations for the 2012 Dakar Rally in Mar del Plata, Argentina, on December 31, 2011. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images) #
3
Hummer's driver Robby Gordon and co-driver Johnny Campbell from the U.S. jump across the podium during the symbolic start of the 2012 Dakar Rally in Mar del Plata on December 31, 2011. (Juan Mabromata/AFP/Getty Images) #
4
A biker competes in the 11th stage of the Dakar Rally 2012 from Arica to Arequipa, Peru, on January 12, 2012. (Reuters/Philippe Desmazes) #
5
French motorcyclist Cyril Despres rides his KTM during the stage 10 of the Dakar 2012 between Iquique and Arica, Chile, on January 11, 2012. Spain's Joan Barreda won stage 10. (JEROME PREVOST/AFP/Getty Images) #
6
Christophe Blondeau of France naps during a break in the 10th stage of the 2012 Argentina-Chile-Peru Dakar Rally in Chile, on January 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Jerome Prevost) #
7
Mechanics work into the night during the rest day of the 2012 Dakar Rally in Copiapo, Chile on January 8, 2012. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images,) #
8
Argentina's Marcos Patronelli races his Yamaha quad as a helicopter flies over during the seventh stage of the 2012 Dakar Rally through Copiapo, Chile, on January 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia) #
9
Mini's driver Stephane Peterhansel and co-driver Jean Paul Cottret, both from France, compete in the 11th stage of the 2012 Dakar Rally between Arica, Chile and Arequipa, Peru, on January 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia) #
10
France's Stephane Peterhansel and co-pilot Jean-Paul Cottret drive their Mini Monster during the eighth stage of the 2012 Dakar Rally from Copiapo to Antofagasta, on January 9, 2012. (Reuters/Jerome Prevot) #
11
Mini Monster pilot France's Stephane Peterhansel arrives for the start of the 10th stage of the 2012 Dakar Rally, on January 11, 2012. (Reuters/Jerome Prevot) #
12
France's Christophe Blondeau kicks up sand on his Yamaha during the seventh stage of the Dakar Rally in Copiapo, Chile, on January 7, 2012. (Reuters/Jacky Naegelen) #
13
Cyril Despres, of France, races his KTM in the 10th stage of the Dakar Rally on January 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Jerome Prevost) #
14
Senkalayci Sakir of Turkey rides down a sand dune during stage five of the 2012 Dakar Rally from Chilechito to Fiambala, Argentina, on January 5, 2012. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images) #
15
A race official tends to Mauricio Javier Gomez of Argentina and the Paco Gomez Team after he crashed his Yamaha motorbike in a sand dune during stage five of the 2012 Dakar Rally in Fiambala, Argentina, on January 5, 2012. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images) #
16
Joan Pedrero, of Spain, races his KTM in the 10th stage of the Dakar Rally between Iquique and Arica, Chile, on January 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Jerome Prevost) #
17
Peruvian Felipe Rios rides his KTM right after the start of the Stage 9 of the 2012 Dakar Rally between Copiapo and Antofagasta in Chile, on January 9, 2012. (Martin Bernetti/AFP/Getty Images) #
18
SMG pilot Alister McRae of Scotland gets a massage on the eve of the eighth stage of the Dakar Rally in Copiapo, Chile, on January 8, 2012. (Reuters/Jacky Naegelen) #
19
Mini driver Ricardo Leal Dos Santos and co-driver Paulo Fiuza, both from Portugal, compete in the 11th stage of the Dakar Rally between Arica, Chile and Arequipa, Peru, on January 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia) #
20
The burning car of Alfie Cox of South Africa and co-driver Jurgen Schroder sits in the sand dunes during stage one of the 2012 Dakar Rally on January 1, 2012 in Santa Rosa de la Pampa, Argentina. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images) #
21
The burning Polaris of Jose Antonio Blangino of Argentina sits in the sand dunes during stage one of the 2012 Dakar Rally on January 1, 2012 in Santa Rosa de la Pampa, Argentina. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images) #
22
Bernard Errandonea of France drives his SMG in stage eight of the 2012 Dakar Rally from Copiapo to Antofagasta, Chile on January 9, 2012. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images,) #
23
France's Stephane Peterhansel and co-pilot Jean-Paul Cottret drive their Mini Monster as they arrive in Copiapo after the cancelled sixth stage of the Dakar Rally, on January 6, 2012. (Reuters/Jacky Naegelen) #
24
A motorbike rider crosses the Chile-Peru border before the start of the 2012 Dakar Rally Stage 11, in Tacna, Peru on January 12, 2012. (Martin Bernetti/AFP/Getty Images) #
25
Jo Adua of France drives his Iveco truck over a sand dune during stage seven of the 2012 Dakar Rally on January 7, 2012 in Copiapo, Chile. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images,) #
26
France's Cyril Despres cleans his mud-encrusted KTM bike during the eighth stage of the Dakar Rally, on January 9, 2012. (Reuters/Francois Lefloch) #
27
Stephane Peterhansel of France drives his Mini towards the stage finish on stage nine of the 2012 Dakar Rally from Antofagasta to Iquique, Chile, on January 10, 2012. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images) #
28
Cyril Despres, of France, races his KTM in the 10th stage of the 2012 Dakar Rally between Iquique and Arica, Chile, on January 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Jerome Prevost, Pool) #
29
Injured biker Xavier Pizzolito, from Argentina, is carried to a helicopter during the eighth stage of the Dakar Rally in Chile's Atacama desert, on January 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia) #
30
Spain's Joan Barreda Bort rides his Huqsvarna in the tenth stage of the Dakar Rally from Iquique to Arica, on January 11, 2012. (Reuters/Jerome Prevot) #
31
Mechanics prepare the Man truck of France's Raphael Gimbre on the eve of the eighth stage of the Dakar Rally in Copiapo, Chile, on January 8, 2012. (Reuters/Jacky Naegelen) #
32
Spain's Gerard Farres Guell rides his KTM during the seventh stage of the Dakar Rally in Copiapo, Chile on January 7, 2012. (Reuters/Jacky Naegelen) #
33
The Netherlands' Frans Verhoeven rides his Sherco in the fourth stage of the Dakar Rally from San Juan to Chilecito, on January 4, 2012. (Reuters/Jacky Naegelen) #
34
Jacek Czachor of Poland and the Orlen Team crosses a river during stage eleven of the 2012 Dakar Rally from Arica to Arequipa, Peru, on January 12, 2012. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images) #
35
France's Camelia Liparoti waits on her Yamaha quad for the start of the 11th stage of the Dakar Rally from Arica to Arequipa, on January 12, 2012. (Reuters/Jacky Naegelen) #
36
Kamaz driver Andrey Karginov and co-driver Andrey Mokeev, both from Russia, compete in the truck category in the third stage of the 2012 Dakar Rally between San Rafael and San Juan, Argentina, on January 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Frederic Le Floch) #
37
Marc Coma races his KTM in the 10th stage of the 2012 Argentina-Chile-Peru Dakar Rally between Iquique and Arica, Chile on January 11, 2012. (Jerome Prevost/Associatied Press/Pool) #
38
South Africa's driver Alfie Cox (left) and co-pilot Jurgen Schroder leave their Volvo XC60 Pewano burning during stage one between Mar del Plata and Santa Rosa de la Pampa, Argentina on January 1, 2012. (STR/AFP/Getty Images) #
39
Franz Echter of Germany drives around the burning car of Jose Antonio Blangion of Argentina during stage one from Mar Del Plata to Santa Rosa de la Pampa on January 1, 2012 in Santa Rosa de la Pampa, Argentina. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images) #
40
Pieter Versluis of The Netherlands drives his MAN truck through a stream during stage one from Mar Del Plata to Santa Rosa de la Pampa on January 1, 2012 in Santa Rosa de la Pampa, Argentina. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images) #
41
A man photographs Abdulla Alheraiz and co-driver Khalid Ahmad, both of the United Arab Emirates, as they compete in the third stage between San Rafael and San Juan, Argentina on January 3, 2012. (Frederic Le Floch/Associated Press/Pool) #
42
Kazakstan's Artur Ardavichus and co-pilots Alexey Kumich of Russia and Kazakstan's Nurlan Turlubaev drive their Kamaz truck during the third stage from San Rafael to San Juan on January 3, 2012. (Jacky Naegelen/Reuters) #
43
Spain's Gerard Farres Guell rides his KTM during the fourth stage from San Juan to Chilecito on January 4, 2012. (Jacky Naegelen/Reuters) #
44
Ronan Chabot and co-driver Gilles Pillot, both of France, stand next to their car after they swerved off the road in the fourth stage between San Juan and Chilecito, Argentina on January 4, 2012. (Martin Mejia/Associated Press) #
45
Giniel De Villiers, from South Africa, and co-driver Dirk Von Zitzewitz, from Germany, try to push their car after it went off the road during the fifth stage between Chilecito and Fiambala in Argentina on January 5, 2012. (Jerome Prevost/Associated Press/Pool) #
46
Drivers compete during the fifth stage between Chilecito and Fiambala in Argentina on January 5, 2012. (Jerome Prevost/Associated Press/Pool) #
47
France's Stephane Peterhansel and co-pilot Jean-Paul Cottret drive their Mini Monster during the fifth stage from Chilecito to Fiambala January 5, 2012. (Jacky Naegelen/Reuters) #
48
Eduardo Alan of Argentina gets stuck in the sand during stage five from Chilechito to Fiambala on January 5, 2012 in Fiambala, Argentina. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images) #
49
South African Giniel de Villiers drives his car along a road in the Argentine province of Catamarca on January 6, 2012, a day in which organizers were forced to cancel the sixth stage between Fiambala in Argentina and Copiapo in Chile due to summer snow in the Andes. (AFP/Getty Images) #
50
Competitors ride their motorbikes during stage seven in Copiapo, Chile on January 7, 2012. (Philippe Desmazes/AFP/Getty Images) #
51
A tourist barbecues as Netherlands' Gerard De Rooy's truck drives past during stage seven in Copiapo, Chile on January 7, 2012. (Martin Bernetti/AFP/Getty Images) #
52
A tourist waves a Chilean national flag as a truck drives past during stage seven in Copiapo, Chile on January 7, 2012. (Martin Bernetti/AFP/Getty Images) #
53
Marc Coma of Spain races on stage seven from Copiapo to Copiapo on January 7, 2012 in Copiapo, Chile. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images) #
54
Andrey Karginov of Russia and co-drivers Andrey Mokeev and Igor Devyatkin attempt to free their Kamaz truck after it became stuck on top of a sand dune during stage seven in Copiapo, Chile on January 7, 2012. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images) #
55
A quad bike rider makes his way into the Chilean mountains during stage seven in Copiapo, Chile on January 7, 2012. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images) #
56
Oliver Pain of France races during stage seven on January 7, 2012 in Copiapo, Chile. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images) #
57
Yamaha quad pilot Camelia Liparoti of France examines her road book on the eve of the eighth stage in Copiapo, Chile on January 8, 2012. (Jacky Naegelen/Reuters) #
58
Mechanics prepare the MAN truck of France's Raphael Gimbre on the eve of the eighth stage in Copiapo, Chile on January 8, 2012. (Jacky Naegelen/Reuters) #
59
People shave and brush their teeth at the rally camp during the eighth stage between Copiapo and Antofagasta in Chile on January 9, 2012. (Martin Mejia/Associated Press) #
60
A Dakar Rally staffer works on his computer at the rally camp during the eighth stage in the Atacama desert between Copiapo and Antofagasta, Chile on January 9, 2012. (Martin Mejia/Associated Press) #
61
People watch a quad during stage eight between Copiapo and Antofagasta, Chile on January 9, 2012. (Philippe Desmazes/AFP/Getty Images) #
62
Bruno Bony of France and Eric Palante of Belgium ride along a valley floor during stage eight from Copiapo to Antofagasta on January 9, 2012. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images) #
63
Etienne Lormand of France rides his Yamaha on stage nine in Iquique, Chile on January 10, 2010. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images) #
64
A mechanic takes a nap inside a repair truck at the bivouac during stage ten in Arica, Chile on January 11, 2012. (Martin Bernetti/AFP/Getty Images) #
65
US driver Robby Gordon gestures upon arrival after stage ten in Arica, Chile on January 11, 2012. (Jerome Prevost/AFP/Getty Images) #
66
Spain's Nani Roma and co-pilot Michel Perin of France drive their Mini Monster during the 10th stage of the fourth South American edition of the Dakar Rally 2012 from Iquique to Arica January 11, 2012. (Jerome Prevost/Reuters/Pool) #
67
Competitors eat breakfast before the start of the tenth stage in Iquique, Chile on January 11, 2012. (Martin Mejia/Associated Press) #
68
A participant on a motorbike crosses the Chile-Peru border before the start of stage eleven in Tacna, Peru on January 12, 2012. (Martin Bernetti/AFP/Getty Images) #
69
Local women prepare the national cocktail of Peru, pisco sour, during stage eleven in Tacna, Peru on January 12, 2012. (Martin Bernetti/AFP/Getty Images) #

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