It was with astonishment that the very first story I encountered this afternoon upon deciding to check “Ze Welt von Motorsports” and see if anything was occurring, that the headlines read; This year’s Dakar Rally has been cancelled.
(But I’m NOT surprised that I lost the whole FRILLIN’ story I just finished writing upon making fun of le internets. Thanks micro-SOFT!)
The event’s very first ever cancellation is due to the recent Terrorist attack upon five French tourists on December 24th. While visiting Mauritania four were killed and the fifth seriously injured while picnicking along the main road near the Senegal border.
The Amaury Sports Organisation, (ASO) promoters of the Dakar Rally said that they’d received direct threats from Terrorist organizations towards this year’s event and the rally was cancelled to ensure the safety of all competitors, support personnel, journalists and civilians along the event’s route.
Although stages of the event have been cancelled previously due to perceived threats, this is the first ever cancellation of the event which has run consecutively since 1979. The ASO assures us that the Dakar Rally will indeed resume in 2009, yet most likely the unsafe regions of Mauritania will be dropped from the new route…