Dakar Rally 2017: Race Dates, Schedule, Live Stream and TV Info

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistDecember 31, 2016

SAN RAFAEL, ARGENTINA - JANUARY 11:  Toby Price of Australia riding on and for KTM 450 RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM competes on day 9 stage eight from Salta to Bellen during the 2016 Dakar Rally on January 11, 2016 in near San Rafae Salta, Argentina.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Asuncion, Paraguay, will be the starting point for the 2017 Dakar Rally, as the 38th edition of this iconic event gets going on January 2.

Those taking part will have to make their way through three different countries in South America, with the finish scheduled in Buenos Aires on January 14 after passing through Bolivia. There are plenty of challenges for the competitors to negotiate; they will battle it out in bikes, quads, cars and truck categories across a variety of terrains.

Day 1 of the event is never an occasion to be missed, as all involved seek to secure an early advantage in the race to the Argentine capital. Here is the schedule for the 12 stages of racing, where you can catch the action and a closer look at who will be in the hunt for glory this year.

Dakar 2017: Full Schedule
StageDateDepartArrive
12 JanuaryAsuncionResistencia
23 JanuaryResistenciaSan Miguel de Tucuman
34 JanuarySan Miguel de TucumanSan Salvador de Jujuy
45 JanuarySan Salvador de JujuyTupiza
56 JanuaryTupizaOruro
67 JanuaryOruroLa Paz
8 JanuaryLa PazRest Day
79 JanuaryRest DayUyuni
810 JanuaryUyuniSalta
911 JanuarySaltaChilecito
1012 JanuaryChilecitoSan Juan
1113 JanuarySan JuanRio Cuarto
1214 JanuaryRio CuartoBuenos Aires
Dakar.com

TV Info: Eurosport (U.K.), NBC Sports (U.S.)

Live Stream: Eurosport Player (U.K.), NBC Sports App (U.S.)

  

Dakar 2017 Preview

The event’s Twitter feed posted the following clip, giving viewers a look at what’s to come in early 2017:

One of the main attractions of the Dakar Rally is the variety of competitors who take part year after year, meaning there’s something for everyone who tunes in to sample the action.

In the bike bracket, 2016 champion Toby Price is among the favourites to triumph. The Australian only entered the event for the first time in 2015 and finished in a respectable third place, although he went one better last year, putting more than 38 minutes between himself and KTM team-mate Stefan Svitko.

Price secured a memorable triumph last year.
Price secured a memorable triumph last year.FRANCK FIFE/Getty Images

As we can see courtesy of his official Twitter feed, the man from New South Wales is keen to preserve the high standards he has set so far:

However, he’s admitted it’ll be a challenge. “Winning in 2016 means the target is very definitely on my back,” Price said, per the event’s official website. “In motorsport in general and on the Dakar in particular lots of unexpected things can happen and everybody is going to be gunning for me.”

One man who has a fine reputation in Dakar racing is Rafal Sonik, who has finished on the podium four times in the quads class, including a win in 2016. However, he was forced to abandon the event last year on Stage 5 due to mechanical failures.

With defending champion Marcos Patronelli absent this year, the Pole will be the man to beat in the marathon. 

Sonik will want to make amends after disappointment in 2015.
Sonik will want to make amends after disappointment in 2015.Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Sonik’s team-mate, Ignacio Casale, also has plenty of experience in the event, including a second-place finish in 2013; Walter Nosiglia was the highest-finishing Honda team member in 2016 and will fancy his chances of moving up the standings a year on.

In the cars, Stephane Peterhansel and co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret will represent Peugeot and are a pair to look out for after their classy display last year; the French duo excelled in the high mountains last term and will feel the testing terrain included in the route will favour their skill set. 

Per the Peugeot Sport team feed, with Sebastien Loeb and Carlos Sainz also in their stable, they’ve assembled quite a squad in the cars class:

Finally, in the truck standings, Gerard de Rooy is expected to retain his title after a masterclass in rally driving in 2016.

De Rooy was dominant in the truck class last year.
De Rooy was dominant in the truck class last year.Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

The Dutchman, who will be supported again by Moi Torrallardona, won three stages on his way to glory last year, putting more than 70 minutes between himself and his nearest competitor. 

While the Dakar is notoriously unpredictable, the calibre of that three-man crew assembled by Iveco makes De Rooy a great bet to win what’d be his third Dakar title.