Sunday, January 19, 2014

Bolivian president heads welcome reception

Bolivian President Evo Morales Sunday personally welcomed the motorcycle and quad competitors of the Dakar Rally as they arrived in Bolivia as part of the seventh stage of the off-road race.As racers arrived in the southwestern town of Uyuni, a visibly moved Morales thanked the race organizers, the Amaury Sport Organization (ASO), for including Bolivia in the multinational route."We did not qualify for the World Cup (soccer finals), but we have a world-class race with the Dakar, and we hope to expand the race next year," said Morales, as he hugged Bolivian motocross competitor Juan Carlos Salvatierra, who was among the top 20 rally racers."Today I have seen ..China visa service. people moving along the mountain ranges, along the rpp resinivers. It is impressive how sports can bring people together, and that is why I thank the ASO for agreeing to be here."Morales said he hoped future editions of the rally, which has helped boost tourism, would continue to include Bolivia, traversing different regions of the country. 

Spain's Joan Barreda (Honda) won the motorcycle race Sunday,Silicone Wristbands which covered a track that led from the Argentine city of Salta to Bolivia's Uyuni, while Chile's Ignacio Casale won the quad race, with a time of 3 hours and 56 minutes.This year marks the first time Bolivia has been included in the route of the rally, which began Jan. 5 in Argentina and concludes Jan. 13 in Chile, though only two of the rally's four vehicle divisions entered Bolivia. Cars and trucks took a different direct route to Chile Sunday.The quad and motorcycle racers crossed into Bolivia at 9:59 am local time (1359 GMT), at a point called "kilometer zero, Pachamama point," in the border town of Villazon.There, Morales, accompanied by his vice president, Alvaro Garcia, and a group of indigenous elders, welcomed the racers with a traditional ritual to Pachamama, or Mother Earth, asking for the race to go well.This year's 36th edition of the rally kicked off in Rosario, Argentina, with 431 vehicles: 174 motorcycles, 40 quads, 147 cars and 70 trucks.

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