- Title: BOLIVIA: MOTOR RACING: Morales presents Bolvia's Dakar 2014 rally team
- Date: 10th December 2013
- Summary: OFFICIAL VIDEO OF DAKAR IN BOLIVIA BEING SHOWN DURING PRESENTATION
- Embargoed: 25th December 2013 12:00
- Location: Bolivia, Plurinational State Of
- Country: Bolivia
- Topics: Science,Sports
- Reuters ID: LVAABTSOFPM27AERFESF915LJCAQ
- Story Text: Bolivian President Evo Morales presented on Tuesday (December 10) Bolivia's Dakar 2014 rally team as the government prepares to host part of the rally's route in Bolivia.
The destination will become the 28th country visited by the race for the first time ever, with the 2014 edition marking the sixth version of the race in South America.
Bolivian Rider Juan Carlos "Chavo" Salvatierra, the motorcycle World Cup winner in the category over 450cc, will be part of Bolivia's team, together with Marco Bulacia, Walter Nosiglia, Ernesto Eterovic, Ramiro Menacho, Fabricio Fuentes, Miguel Bulacia, Marco Ponce, Luis Barbery and Hernan Daza.
Morales has said Dakar's arrival would place Bolivia on the world stage as 450 participants are expected to take part in Bolivia's route with thousands of spectators looking on.
Dakar Rally Director Etienne Lavigne said safety was of utmost importance.
"The passing of Dakar through Bolivia will truly be a party and we invite everyone to enjoy those competition days, respecting the areas for spectators in order to enjoy the event with security," he said.
The rally will pass through Salar de Uyuni, which is the world's largest salt flat at 10,582 square kilometres (4,086 square miles).
It is located in the Potosi and Oruro departments in southwest Bolivia, near the crest of the Andes where half of the world's known reserves of lithium are found. It is more than 4,000 metres (13,123 feet) above sea level.
Morales' government has invested in making improvements to the area as there will be an overnight stay in Uyuni during the race. Part of these works include new lighting at Uyuni's airport. Planes, helicopters and 3,000 troops and policemen will be on hand during the competition, local media reported.
"We are going to live these competition days with our landscape, identity, culture during Dakar. That is why we thank the organisers to allow and accept the competition passes through here," Morales said.
The race will start on January 5, 2014 in the Argentine town of Rosario and continue on to Valparaiso, Chile.
Bolivia paid a franchise of two million dollars to be part of the competition. It hopes the initiative will attract more than 100,000 tourists to the region, according to local media.
The 2013 edition of the gruelling race marked the 11th overall victory of Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel, who has won the event in both car and motorcycle categories.
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