20 January 2014 13:45 | By xinmsn Sports
Scenes from the Dakar Rally

A selection of the best images from the Dakar Rally in South America, an annual off-road race



Yamaha rider Cyril Despres of France waves to the crowd after crossing the finish line at the seventh stage of the Dakar Rally from Salta to Uyuni, January 12, 2014. (© Jean-Paul Pelissier/Reuters)
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  • Yamaha rider Cyril Despres of France waves to the crowd after crossing the finish line at the seventh stage of the Dakar Rally from Salta to Uyuni, January 12, 2014. (© Jean-Paul Pelissier/Reuters)
  • A dog runs in front of Honda rider Joan Barreda of Spain at the finish line of the seventh stage of the Dakar Rally from Salta to Uyuni, January 12, 2014. (© Jean-Paul Pelissier/Reuters)
  • Cyril Despres of France gives a thumbs-up at the seventh stage of the Dakar Rally 2014 in Uyuni, some 450 km (280 miles) south of La Paz January 12, 2014. (© David Mercado/Reuters)
  • After falling from his motorbike, KTM rider Stephane Hamard of France gets help pushing his bike out of a mud puddle during the seventh stage between the cities of Salta, Argentina and Uyuni, Bolivia on January 12. (© Juan Karita/AP Photo)
  • Tourists stand on the Salar salt lake of Uyuni before the seventh stage of the Dakar Rally 2014 on January 11, 2014. (© Jean-Paul Pelissier/Reuters)
  • Spain's Jose Manual Pellicer rides his Suzuki during the fifth stage of the Dakar Rally 2014 from Chilecito to Tucuman, January 9, 2014. (© Jean-Paul Pelissier/Reuters)
  • Dakar Rally director Etienne Lavigne (L) turns away from the cloud of dust kicked up as KTM rider Riaan Van Niekerk of South Africa rides past him during the fifth stage of the Dakar Rally 2014 from Chilecito to Tucuman, January 9, 2014. (© Jean-Paul Pelissier/Reuters)
  • Patricio Cabrera of Chile rides his Kawasaki during the fifth stage of the Dakar Rally 2014 from Chilecito to Tucuman, January 9, 2014. (© Jean-Paul Pelissier/Reuters)
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The gruelling Dakar Rally concluded in South America last week. Open to motorbikes, cars and trucks, the course covers more than 1,200-miles (nearly 2,000 km) of the harshest off-road terrain that Argentina, Chile and Bolivia have to offer. The rally traditionally ran from Paris, France to Dakar, Senegal but concerns about terrorism in Mauritania forced the move to South America, where the race has been held since 2009.

Three people have died during this year's race - a Belgian motorcyclist who was found dead along the course on January 10, as well as a freelance journalist and his driver, who died while attempting to navigate challenging terrain in Argentina. More than 50 people have died during the race since its inception in 1978.

Pictured here, Yamaha rider Cyril Despres of France waves to the crowd after crossing the finish line at the seventh stage of the Dakar Rally from Salta, Argentina to Uyuni, Bolivia on January 12, 2014.

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