MAN IN CRITICAL CONDITION AT DAKAR RALLY
Italian motorcyclist Luca Manca remains in critical condition following acrash during the famed Dakar Rally. The confusing part is that he isbeing treated at a hospital in Argentina, a hemisphere away. I did some research and found out why.
The famed Paris to Dakar rally began in 1978 and quickly became the stuff of legends. Teams roared out of the French capital in off-road trucks and motorcycles, crossed the Straits of Gibraltar then sped across the mighty Sahara Desert to the remote port city of Dakar thousands of miles away. Only the most hearty (and crazy) racers dared risk their lives in the most macho of all off road derbies.
Problems arouse four years ago when Mauritania, one of the large barren nations the racers cross, fell into internal conflict. Islamic nationalists were accused of rigging elections in the capital, so miliant groups began claiming to rule isolated provinces as a result. This was all deemed too dangerous for race officials, so the famed competition was cancelled altogether in 2008.
Demand for the event did not disappear, so the entire race was moved across the Atlantic Ocean to South America, to the similarly harsh conditions of the Atacama Desert. Curiously, it's still called the DAKAR rally, even though in now ends in BUENOS AIRES. The real question is how long will the race continue? With people like Manca in critical condition, and with the high environmental toll, will this "Indiana Jones" event survive in the new decade? For now, the answer is yes...just tune into the 'Versus' cable channel for your daily updates!