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In Pictures: Dakar a wild ride on two wheels or four

The ultimate off-road endurance race, Dakar attracts more than 350 entrants mounting motorcycles, quads, cars and trucks

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Duncan Vos and co-driver Robert Howie, both from South Africa, drive their Toyota during the first stage of the 2012 Argentina-Chile-Peru Dakar Rally between Mar del Plata and Santa Rosa de la Pampa, Argentina, Sunday Jan. 1, 2012. This is the fourth consecutive year the event is being held in South America. This year the race begins in Argentina, passes through Chile, and finishes in Lima, Peru, on Jan. 15.

Martin Mejia/AP Photo/Martin Mejia

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Spain's Jordi Viladoms rides his KTM during the first stage from Mar Del Plata to Santa Rosa de la Pampa in the fourth South American edition of the Dakar Rallyin Santa Rosa de la Pampa, January 1, 2012.

JACKY NAEGELEN/REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

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The Netherland's Frans Verhoeven rides his Sherco during the first stage from Mar Del Plata to Santa Rosa de la Pampa in the fourth South American edition of the Dakar Rally in Santa Rosa de la Pampa, January 1, 2012.

JACKY NAEGELEN/REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

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France's Cyril Depres rides his KTM during the third stage of the fourth South American edition of the Dakar Rally 2012 from San Rafael to San Juan January 3, 2012.

JACKY NAEGELEN/REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

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France's Camelia Liparoti rides her Yamaha quad during the third stage of the fourth South American edition of the Dakar Rally 2012 from San Rafael to San Juan January 3, 2012.

JACKY NAEGELEN/REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

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France's Pierre Cherpin rides his KTM during the third stage of the fourth South American edition of the Dakar Rally 2012 from San Rafael to San Juan January 3, 2012.

JACKY NAEGELEN/REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

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Josef Machacek of the Czech Republic rides his Yamaha quad during the first stage of the fourth South American edition of the Dakar Rally from Mar Del Plata to Santa Rosa de la Pampa January 1, 2012.

JACKY NAEGELEN/REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

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France's Arnaud Besnier (L) rides his Aprilia and Poland's Marek Dabrowski on his KTM during the first stage of the fourth South American edition of the Dakar Rally from Mar Del Plata to Santa Rosa de la Pampa January 1, 2012.

JACKY NAEGELEN/REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

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South Africa's Giniel De Villiers and co-pilot Germany's Dirk Zitzewitz drive their Toyota during the second stage of the fourth South American edition of the Dakar Rally 2012 from Santa Rosa de la Pampa to San Rafael January 2, 2012.

JACKY NAEGELEN/REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

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U.S. Robby Gordon and co-pilot Johnny Campbell drive their Hummer during the second stage of the fourth South American edition of the Dakar Rally from Santa Rosa de la Pampa to San Rafael January 2, 2012.

JACKY NAEGELEN/REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

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France's Pascal Thomasse and co-pilot Pascal Larroque drive their Buggy MD Rallye during the first stage of the fourth South American edition of the Dakar Rally from Mar Del Plata to Santa Rosa de la Pampa January 1, 2012.

JACKY NAEGELEN/REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

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South Africa's Alfie Cox (R) and co-pilot Germany's Jurgen Schroeder arrange their gear near their burning Volvo during the first stage of the fourth South American edition of the Dakar Rally 2012 from Mar Del Plata to Santa Rosa de la Pampa January 1, 2012.

STRINGER/REUTERS

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Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah of Qatar and co-pilot Lucas Cruz of Spain drive their Hummer during the second stage of the fourth South American edition of the Dakar Rally 2012, from Santa Rosa de la Pampa to San Rafael, January 2, 2012.

JACKY NAEGELEN/REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

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Qatar's Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah and co-pilot Spain's Lucas Cruz drive their Hummer during the second stage of the fourth South American edition of the Dakar Rally 2012 from Santa Rosa de la Pampa to San Rafael January 2, 2012.

JACKY NAEGELEN/REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

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Argentina's Marcos Patronelli checks his Yamaha quad before the start of the second stage of the fourth South American edition of the Dakar Rally from Santa Rosa de la Pampa to San Rafael January 2, 2012.

JACKY NAEGELEN/REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

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Hummer driver Nasser Al-Attiyah, from Qatar, and co-driver Cruz Luca, from Spain, compete in the fourth stage of the 2012 Argentina-Chile-Peru Dakar Rally between San Juan and Chilecito, Argentina, Wednesday Jan. 4, 2012.

Martin Mejia/AP Photo/Martin Mejia

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Hummer driver Nasser Al-Attiyah from Qatar and co-driver Cruz Luca from Spain, compete in the second stage of the 2012 Argentina-Chile-Peru Dakar Rally between Santa Rosa de la Pamapa and San Rafael, Argentina, Monday Jan. 2, 2012.

Martin Mejia/AP Photo/Martin Mejia

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Hummer's driver Nasser Al-Attiyah, from Qatar, and co-driver Cruz Luca, from Spain, front, Mini's driver Leonid Novitskiy, from Russia, and co-driver Andreas Schulz, from Germany, center, and Hummer's driver Robby Gordon and co-driver Johnny Campbell, both from the US, compete in the fifth stage of the 2012 Argentina-Chile-Peru Dakar Rally between Chilecito and Fiambala in Argentina, Thursday Jan. 5, 2012.

Jerome Prevost/AP Photo/Jerome Prevost

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Toyota's driver Giniel De Villiers, from South Africa, and co-driver Dirk Von Zitzewitz, from Germany, compete in the fifth stage of the 2012 Argentina-Chile-Peru Dakar Rally between Chilecito and Fiambala IN Argentina, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012.

Jerome Prevost/AP Photo/Jerome Prevost

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Mitsubishi's driver Erik Van Loon and co-driver Harmen Scholtalbers, both from The Netherlands, compete in the fifth stage of the 2012 Argentina-Chile-Peru Dakar Rally between Chilecito and Fiambala in Argentina, Thursday,Jan. 5, 2012.

Jerome Prevost/AP Photo/Jerome Prevost

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SMG's driver Francisco Pita and co-driver Humberto Goncalves, both from Portugal, compete in the third stage of the 2012 Argentina-Chile-Peru Dakar Rally between San Rafael and San Juan, Argentina, Tuesday Jan. 3, 2012.

Frederic Le Floch/AP Photo/Frederic Le Floch

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A man takes pictures as Toyota's driver Abdulla Alheraiz and co-driver Khalid Ahmad, both of the United Arab Emirates, compete in the third stage of the 2012 Argentina-Chile-Peru Dakar Rally between San Rafael and San Juan, Argentina, Tuesday Jan. 3, 2012.

Frederic Le Floch/AP Photo/Frederic Le Floch

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Kamaz driver Andrey Karginov and co-driver Andrey Mokeev, both from Russia, compete in the truck category in the third stage of the 2012 Argentina-Chile-Peru Dakar Rally between San Rafael and San Juan, Argentina, Tuesday Jan. 3, 2012.

Frederic Le Floch/AP Photo/Frederic Le Floch

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Portugal's biker Pedro Bianchi races his Husqvarna in the fourth stage of the 2012 Argentina-Chile-Peru Dakar Rally between San Juan and Chilecito, Argentina, Wednesday Jan. 4, 2012.

Martin Mejia/AP Photo/Martin Mejia

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Slovakia's Dusan Cipka races his BMW in the fourth stage of the 2012 Argentina-Chile-Peru Dakar Rally between San Juan and Chilecito, Argentina, Wednesday Jan. 4, 2012.

Martin Mejia/AP Photo/Martin Mejia

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Spectators run to help French biker Jean-Claude Mazet after he fell while Romanian biker Marcel Butuza, right, and French biker Herve Theuriot, left, pass by during the second stage of the 2012 Argentina-Chile-Peru Dakar Rally between Santa Rosa de la Pampa and San Rafael in Argentina, Monday, Jan. 2, 2012.

Martin Mejia/AP Photo/Martin Mejia

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