I don't know squat about the land down under so excuse my ignorance if these seems dumb....
Couldn't a Dakar, or any point to point rally, start in New Zealand with a few days of mountain tracks before boarding a ferry over to Aus ?
As you mention Troy, the Dakar is very much about selling the "dream" of a race that spawns great distances. Part of that sell is portraying miles of endless dunes when in reality it travels (85% ?) percent roads. The reality of people riding 200-800 km of paved liaisons isn't shown, what's shown is the (5-15% ?) of the route in the dunes or scenic canyons or scenic mountains. I think it's feasible, terrain wise, from what I have seen on the web and google maps
that a down under Dakar would be feasible. Likely only for a year or three but doable.
BUT money talks and bullshit walks
Countries in South America are paying very large sums (5 million rings a bell) of money to the ASO to have the race go threw their country....would the Aus government throw down 15 million or so to have the Dakar cross their country ?
China? .... that would be fantastic
Racing across the Tibetan plateau, point to point across the gobi, etc....yes that could be crazy cool
Do I foresee the race moving away, anti me soon, from SA? Nope
Mr Berg, I havent heard any rumors....only rumors of other countries with SA.
Now that they have pressure washers in the bivouac......time to see race vechicles flying across the high altitude salt flats on a compass heading. My prediction for 2014