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Coma: «Bolivia will be an important step in the Dakar 2018»

Coma: «Bolivia will be an important step in the Dakar 2018»

The passage of the Dakar 2018 through Bolivian territory will represent an “important step” that competitors will have to overcome, due to the progressive increase in difficulty, said today the Spanish Marc Coma, the rally’s sports director.

Coma made these statements to the media in Sucre (southeast), the constitutional capital of Bolivia, where the competition was officially presented today and the sports and tourism fair scheduled in that city on January 11 and 12 was also announced.

The change of scenery from Peru to the Bolivian highlands and the increase in kilometers along the route will make Bolivia “an important step that our competitors will have to overcome,” said Coma.

There will also be the “marathon stage” that will be run in the tourist town of Uyuni (southwest), where the homonymous salt flat is located, the largest in the world at the highest altitude, at more than 3,600 meters, where the runners will have to fend for themselves themselves to solve any mechanical problem that may arise.

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The director of the competition expressed his satisfaction with the route of the route in Bolivia, which will be “of great sporting interest” and will allow crossing the country “in a way that has never been done in these five years, entering from the lake. Titicaca and leaving through Villazón and Tupiza »towards Argentina.

The fortieth edition of the Dakar, the tenth in South America, will depart from Lima on January 6, will have a rest day in La Paz on January 12 and will culminate on the 20th in the Argentine province of Córdoba.

It will be the fifth time that the rally has passed through Bolivia and the first to visit Sucre, although not as a competition, but rather “in a fair mode,” said Coma, for whom this activity “is the best way to show that the Dakar is something more than a career.

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“There is something that makes it magical, a socio-cultural movement around the test, that makes it different from any other that may exist,” said the Spaniard.

He explained that the fair will have two pillars, the first to promote the sporting event itself to bring people closer to what the competitors are experiencing, the material they use and show them some of the history of the rally.

Within the second pillar, local producers will take advantage of the fair “to promote themselves,” he added.

The Bolivian Minister of Culture and Tourism, Wilma Alanoca, explained that during the fair fifteen tourist destinations in Bolivia will be promoted, including the Salar de Uyuni and the colored lagoons, located in Potosi (southwest), and the so-called route of the It came from neighboring Tarija (south).

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The Jesuit missions, the Pantanal of Santa Cruz (east) and Orinoca, the hometown of Bolivian President Evo Morales, located in the Andean region of Oruro (west), among others, will also be promoted.

Morales, whose attendance at the presentation in Sucre was announced, could not participate but dedicated a couple of messages on Twitter to highlight that Bolivia is ready to host the “toughest automobile test in the world.”

“The positive impact that Dakar 2018 leaves in terms of tourism and economics in our country is undeniable, because here we express our culture, identity and diversity of our Plurinational State in the eyes of the world, to open up new opportunities,” said the leader.

Bolivian authorities estimate that the passage of the 2018 Dakar Rally through the country will have an economic impact of about 149 million dollars. EFE

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