‘Tis the season to race! The 2024 Dakar Rally gets underway on January 5, and the Africa Eco Race is already underway, sort of. The 15th edition of the race kicked off in Monaco on December 30, but as of January 1, the participants haven’t actually started racing yet.

That’s because while the Eco Race starts in Europe and runs into Africa, the trucks/cars/ATVs/bikes aren’t actually competing until they get to Morocco. As per the Eco Race’s PR:

The program for this last day of the year included a free transfer between Monaco and Sète, where everyone will board on the GNV ferry. The boat will then head for Nador in northern Morocco for a 36-hour crossing of the Mediterranean Sea. After celebrating New Year’s Eve, the first day of the new year will be devoted to briefings and training on navigation and safety instruments.

The second night on board ends very early on Tuesday, January 2, with disembarkation scheduled for 6:00 am. After customs formalities and a hearty breakfast, the participants will head south to Boudnib, where the AFRICA ECO RACE caravan will take up residence, after 600 kilometers including 175 of special stages.

So, the racing starts tomorrow (January 2). You can see some footage of the opening ceremony below:

Finally, finally, the organizers have gotten around to posting the entry list for the bike category. You can see it here, but here’s the TL/DR: It appears that no Americans are riding this year, or Australians, either. There is one Canadian listed, Michael Gros for the Yamaha Tenere World Raid team.

Otherwise, the list is almost entirely French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch and so on. The Eco Race is still very much a Euro-centric event, unlike the Dakar Rally’s global appeal.  There are no Kove 450s at the Eco Race (although niche Euro bikes like AJP are represented).

See the teaser for this year’s race route below:


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