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Dakar Rally crosses Peru to Chile

Dakar Rally crosses Peru to ChileLima, Jan 10 - The 2013 Dakar Rally crossed the border from Peru into Chile, where motorbikes and quads will cover 411 km, while cars and trucks would go 509 km.

The race began Wednesday in Peru's southern city of Arequipa, passing through Moquegua and Tacna, and will end in Chile's northern region of Arica, reports Xinhua. On the first day of the rally, motorcycles and quads travelled 136 km, while cars and trucks 172 km.

The travel was full of stony lands, bottoms of rivers and a descent that goes from an altitude of more than 2,000 metres to almost sea level.

Meanwhile, Peruvian Foreign Trade and Tourism Minister Jose Luis Silva said that more than one million Peruvians attended the rally.

"The initial numbers of one million Peruvians that have attended the rally have been surpassed. We have to wait to see how many more took part before it crosses the border to give the final results," said Silva.

The Dakar Rally, which has been held in South America for the fifth time, began last Saturday (Jan 5), and will end in Chile, at Santiago's Constitution Square Jan 20, at the end of a total of 14 stages and more than 8,500 km including Peru, Chile and Argentina.

After four stages, the rally's leaders in the general board are French Olivier Pain (motorcycles), Argentinean Marco Patronelli (quads), Netherlander Stephan Peterhansel (cars) and Czech Ales Loprais (trucks). (IANS)