Bolivia’s preparations on track for 2016 Dakar Rally

La Paz, Dec 9 (IANS) Bolivia’s preparations for the 2016 Dakar Rally are right on track, Culture Minister Marko Machicao hassaid.

“In terms of organisation, we are 95 percent ready. There are still some works to be finished in Uyuni, in Potosi department, especially when it comes to installing the metal mesh,” Xinhua quoted Machicao as saying on Tuesday.

Machicao also said the driver’s camp is currently being built in Uyuni.

The 2016 Dakar Rally is scheduled to take place from January 3 to 16 and this will be the third consecutive year Bolivia is included in the Dakar Rally.

Authorities have decided to close some routes to guarantee the competitors’ safe passage, said the minister.

Machicao said on the first days of 2016, supervisors will inspect the logistics of the Dakar Rally’s route in Bolivia and then the competitors will arrive on January 7 for the fifth stage of the race which begins in Argentina’s Jujuy city and finishes in Uyuni.

With a distance of 542 km, the next stage will be the longest one, beginning and ending in Uyuni. On January 9, the seventh stage will begin in Uyuni and will end in Argentina’s northwestern city of Salta.

Machicao said around 3,750 troops from the National Police and 3,500 from the Armed Forces will be on standby to guarantee the participants and audience’s security.

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