Saturday, January 19, 2008

Dakar Rally Cancelled

09-01-2008 - Message from Etienne Lavigne

Groggy but still standing, I confirm today that the adventure is not over. We believed in the 2008 Dakar. We wanted a demanding, tough and intense thirtieth edition. You had chosen to register for it, to spend time, energy and money. Our common challenge was wrecked at the precise moment when it was shaping up. The shock was brutal for all of us and the consequences heavy for most.

After measuring the disappointment of everyone, a certainty remains: the decision to cancel the 2008 Euromilhoes Dakar was the only reasonable alternative based on the information that we had. The terrorist threats that weighed on the security of the rally failed to leave the slightest choice for responsible organisers. There was no hesitation and there is now no regret.

Shaken by what happened, we were mainly touched by the dignity that the competitors showed in Lisbon. This mature attitude looks like the image that we have of you. We interpret it as a sign of confidence that we will in no way betray.

It is now our turn to deliver a message of hope because we have taken the habit of looking to the future. That is where our energy will be useful. For the teams of the rally, enthusiasm and readiness to fight have already beaten the greyness. We now want to plan a meeting with you in the weeks to come. The next rally that we will offer you in 2009 will be your challenge. It is already ours.

Etienne Lavigne
Director of the Dakar Rallye