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The 2014 Dakar Rally

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On January 5, 431 teams began the annual Dakar Rally: a two-week off-roading adventure through South America. The vehicles -- which include specialized cars, trucks, motorcycles, and quadbikes -- are traversing extremely challenging territory between Rosario, Argentina, and Valparaíso, Chile. One racer and two members of the press have died so far in separate incidents. As the participants depart the Uyuni Salt Flats today, here is a look at Dakar 2014 in progress. [38 photos]

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Honda rider Paulo Goncalves of Portugal reacts as his motorcycle burns during the fifth stage of the Dakar Rally between the cities of Chilecito and Tucuman in San Miguel de Tucuman, Argentina, on January 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)
Honda rider Paulo Goncalves of Portugal reacts as his motorcycle burns during the fifth stage of the Dakar Rally between the cities of Chilecito and Tucuman in San Miguel de Tucuman, Argentina, on January 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)
Robby Gordon and Kellon Walch of the United States for Hummer Team Speed Energy drive off the official podium in front of The National Flag Memorial (Monumento Nacional a la Bandera) during the 2014 Dakar Rally Previews, on January 4, 2014 in Rosario, Argentina. (Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images) #
Bikers wait for the start of the Dakar Rally 2014 Stage 1 between Rosario and San Luis, Argentina, on January 5, 2014. (Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images) #
KTM Chilean rider Francisco Lopez, in Stage 6 of the Dakar 2014 between Tucuman and Salta, Argentina, on January 9, 2014. (Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images) #
Days before his death, Belgium's Eric Palante, on the podium ramp during the symbolic start of the 2014 Argentina-Bolivia-Chile Dakar Rally in Rosario, Argentina, on January 4, 2014. According to a statement from Dakar organizers, Palante's body was found on the morning of January 10, 2014 along the route of the Dakar Rally between Chilecito and San Miguel de Tucuman, Argentina. (AP Photo/Eduardo Di Baia) #
Argentine driver Orlando Terranova and co-driver Paulo Fiuza, during Stage 6 of Dakar 2014 between Tucuman ad Salta, Argentina, on January 10, 2014. (Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images) #
KTM rider Alain Hermet of France races during the third stage between San Rafael and San Juan, Argentina, on January 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano) #
Yamaha rider Marcos Patronelli of Argentina talks to other competitors before the start of the third stage in San Juan, Argentina, on January 7, 2014. Patronelli abandoned the race after a serious accident when the Argentine driver avoided almost certain death by leaping off his quad when it plummeted into a deep ravine. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano) #
Horses run as Marc Coma of Spain approaches with his KTM motorcycle during the second stage in San Rafael, Argentina, on January 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano) #
Honda rider Laila Sanz of Spain, center, speaks with KTM rider Marc Coma of Spain, left, before the start of the third stage of Dakar 2014, on January 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano) #
Christian Lavieille of France races his Haval from Tucuman to Salta, on January 10, 2014. (Reuters/Jean-Paul Pelissier) #
Mechanics work on the car of Christian Lavieille and Jean-Pierre Garcin of France for the Haval Rally Team during Day 4 of the 2014 Dakar Rally, on January 8, 2014 in Chilecito, Argentina. (Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images) #
Robby Gordon of the U.S in his Hummer during the fourth stage of Dakar 2014, from San Juan to Chilecito, on January 8, 2014. (Reuters/Jean-Paul Pelissier) #
Iveco truck driver Adua Jo of France and co-pilots Marco Alcayna Ferran and Marc Torres, both of Spain, race in the fourth stage of the Dakar Rally between San Juan and Chilecito, Argentina, on January 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano) #
Dutch driver Bernhard Ten Brinke and co-driver French Mathieu Baumel on HRX, in stage 6 of Dakar 2014 in Argentina, on January 10, 2014. (Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images) #
A spectator during stage 6 of Dakar 2014, on January 9, 2014. (Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images) #
Kamaz driver Andrey Karginov competes in Stage 6, between Tucuman and Salta, Argentina, on January 9, 2014. (Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images) #
Dakar Rally medical assistance members provide aid to Suzuki rider Gilbert Escale of Spain after he was injured in a crash during the fifth stage, on January 9, 2014. (Reuters/Jean-Paul Pelissier) #
Dakar Rally director Etienne Lavigne 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 from Chilecito to Tucuman, on January 9, 2014. (Reuters/Jean-Paul Pelissier) #
Rally Director Etienne Lavigne (left) helps pilots Bauyrzhan Issabayev and Gabdulla Ashimov of Kazakhstan as their car burns during the second stage from San Luis to San Rafael, on January 6, 2014. (Reuters/Jean-Paul Pelissier) #
Driver Carlos Sainz of Spain and co-pilot Toni Cruz race in the second stage of the Dakar Rally in San Rafael, Argentina, on January 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano) #
(1 of 5) Honda rider Paulo Goncalves of Portugal lifts his burning motorcycle trying to put out the fire engulfing it during the fifth stage of the Dakar Rally between the cities of Chilecito and Tucuman, on January 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano) #
(2 of 5) Paulo Goncalves reactsas he watches his motorcycle burn in San Miguel de Tucuman, Argentina, on January 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano) #
(3 of 5) Paulo Goncalves in front of his Honda on fire, on January 9, 2014. (Reuters/Stringer) #
(4 of 5) The Honda motorcycle of Paulo Goncalves, now completely engulfed in flame, on January 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano) #
(5 of 5) Paulo Goncalves weeps as he watches his motorbike go up in flames during the fifth stage of the Dakar Rally. Goncalves had to drop out after the incident, his earliest exit in his eighth Dakar. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano) #
Mini driver Orlando Terranova of Argentina and co-pilot Paulo Fiuza of Portugal in the second stage of the Dakar Rally in Argentina, on January 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano) #
Yamaha rider Juan Carlos Carignani, of Italy, rides his quad through a creek, on January 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano) #
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 of the Dakar Rally between the cities of Salta, Argentina and Uyuni, Bolivia, on January 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Juan Karita) #
A dog runs in front of Honda rider Joan Barreda of Spain as he arrives at the end of the seventh stage of the Dakar Rally in Uyuni, Bolivia, on January 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano) #
Bolivian President Evo Morales celebrates on the podium with Speedbrain rider Juan Carlos Salvatierra of Bolivia at the end of the Stage 7, in Uyuni, on January 12, 2014. (Reuters/Jean-Paul Pelissier) #
A view of the Salar salt lake of Uyuni, before the seventh stage of the Dakar Rally 2014. (Reuters/Jean-Paul Pelissier) #
The sky is reflected on the Uyuni Salt Flats as a car drives by in Uyuni, Bolivia, on January 11, 2014, near part of the course set for Dakar 2014. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano) #
Sunset on the Salar de Uyuni, the world's largest salt flat, located in Bolivia near the crest of the Andes, where competitors of the Dakar Rally arrived for the eight stage of the competition, on January 11, 2014. (Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images) #
A woman poses next to a giant mining truck at the entrance of the Dakar Rally camp in Calama, Chile, on January 13, 2014. The truck operates in copper mines near the city. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano) #
Victor Manuel Gallegos Lozic of Chile for Honda Tamarugal Racing XC Rally Team competes in stage 8 of the 2014 Dakar Rally near the Salar de Uyuni, on January 13, 2014. (Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images) #
A Chilean policewoman, her face covered with dust, poses for a photo at the entrance of the Dakar Rally camp in Calama, Chile, on January 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano) #
Mini's driver Nani Roma of Spain and co-driver Michel Perin race in Stage 8 between Salta, Argentina and Calama, Chile, on January 13, 2014. (Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images) #

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