Start for the HIMOINSA Team in Dakar 2015
The Spanish team appeared before thousands of fans in the Plaza de Mayo square of Buenos Aires at the symbolic start line for Dakar.
Having undergone the technical and administrative scrutineering the day before and setting up at the Tecnópolis, where adoring fans visited during the days prior to the race, the HIMOINSA Team was presented on the podium ramp of the symbolic start line of Dakar in the Plaza de Mayo square of Buenos Aires. The presentations began at around 3:15pm, local time, following a performance of the Argentine national anthem. The first rider up was Chilean Paula Gálvez, who finished back of the pack in the quads category last year. The next category presented was motorcycles, which included the HIMOINSA Team riders. Rosa Romero and Antonio Gimeno were the first on the ramp, with riders presented in reverse order to their finish last year or reverse order of their race number. “The fans are really psyched. They love it and know the names of all the participants. It’s great to be here and enjoy it” said Rosa Romero to Argentine national TV, which aired the entire event live. Later it was Granada-born Miguel Puertas’ turn. Tomorrow he will start Dakar for the 11th time, with a chance to finish his 10th Dakar. The drivers and riders paraded along the first 34 kilometres (17 kilometres each way) of the race from Tecnópolis to Plaza de Mayo square. From Villa Martelli to Casa Rosada, thousands of spectators lined the streets of Buenos Aires to cheer on the riders as if it were a national holiday. “Every time we arrange a start in Buenos Aires it’s a huge success. A real spectacle” said race director Etienne Lavigne.
After the technical and administrative checks, the start list for tomorrow has been finalised. 406 vehicles will begin the race, of which 161 are motorcycles. To illustrate the magnitude of Dakar, one only need look at the numbers: 53 nationalities represented in the race, more than 720 competitors between riders, drivers, co-pilots and mechanics, 9,000 km to be covered before returning to the podium and, on another note, 80,000 meals served in the bivouac over the 14 days of competition.
Stage 1 (Buenos Aires – Villa Carlos Paz)
The first stage, first dangers and first feelings on HIMOINSA Team’s debut in Dakar 2015 covers 838km, from Buenos Aires to Villa Carlos Paz, with 175km of timed sections. This stage should be quick for the motorcycles vying for the overall classification, with a special section almost entirely off-road and three control points at 15km, 69km and 163km. The vehicles will follow old route nine, now a motorway, before exiting at Baradero for the special section to San Nicolás and then returning to the link section until they reach Villa Carlos Paz. The bivouac will be set up on the banks of lake San Roque. The first motorcycle will start at 5:15am Spanish time, with the timed section expected to begin for the first participant at around 7:50am. We wish our three riders the best of luck in the first stage.