Stephane Peterhansel made a splash in Bolivia on his way to victory in 2018. The Dakar Rally will skip the country in 2019.
La Paz (AFP) - Bolivia will not host the Dakar Rally in 2019 amid ongoing disagreements with organisers ASO over the race course, government officials announced Tuesday.
Bolivia has hosted stages of the race every year since 2014, which was “highly beneficial both financially and for the global promotion of Bolivia as a tourist destination”, according to the local minister for culture Wilma Alanoca.
But, she added in comments to La Razon newspaper: “We didn’t reach an agreement that suits both parties so, as things stand, Bolivia won’t be involved” in the 40th edition of the race once known as Paris-Dakar.
“We were interested in expanding the course to include other regions (of Bolivia) to promote the country’s diversity.”
The itinerary for the 2019 edition of the race was to be unveiled on Monday but was postponed by ASO – who organise the Tour de France among many other well known events – amid a series of disagreements over the course.
The race cut through Chile in 2017 but bypassed the country this year and on Sunday, Chile said it would not host any stages in 2019 for financial reasons.
Peru hosted the start in January – when the race started in the capital Lima and crossed Bolivia before finishing in Cordoba (Argentina) – and is set to be involved in next year’s race.