2005 Dakar Rally also known as the 2005 Paris-Dakar Rally was the 27th running of the Dakar Rally event. The 2005 event was 5,565 miles (8,956 km) long, began in Barcelona on 31 December 2004 and passed through Morocco, Mauritania and Mali before ending at Dakar in Senegal on 16 January 2005. The course was shorter than in 2004 but was more challenging. The number one jersey was not issued during the rally as a mark of respect for Richard Sainct, who won the motorcycle category of the Dakar Rally three times and who was killed during the Rally of the Pharaohs in Egypt in September 2004. A record number of competitors, 696 cars, motorbikes and trucks in total, entered the rally.
Robby Gordon and Colin McRae swapped the lead in the early stages of the rally, until McRae suffered a crash during the sixth stage between Smara and Zouerat and retired from the event. Stephane Peterhansel took the lead after winning the seventh stage. The eighth stage between Tichit and Tidjikja across the Mauritanian desert was cancelled due to stormy weather. Luc Alphand won the ninth stage although Peterhansel retained the overall lead. Peterhansel won the tenth stage around the town of Atar in Mauritania, and retained his lead after the twelfth stage. The motorcycle stage was cancelled as a mark of respect for Fabrizio Meoni, twice winner of the motorcycle category, who died following an accident on the 11th stage. Peterhansel also won the thirteenth stage from Bamako to Kayes in Mali. The 14th stage was won by Ari Vatanen, the 51st of his career, the 15th was won by Giniel de Villiers, and the final stage by Bruno Saby. The overall title was won by Stephane Peterhansel for the second successive year. The motorcycle category was won by Cyril Despres.
Read more about 2005 Dakar Rally: Stages
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