Some time ago someone kindly gave me the official ASO roadbook from the 2007 Lisbon-Dakar Rally, the last one to be held in the Sahara. Following the murder of a French family in Mauritania just before the Rally (actually thought to be criminals not terrorists) additional threats saw the 2008 event cancelled at the last-minute. The following year the Rally moved to South America where it continues to thrive with less controversy.
The longest stage in 2007 was across the top of the Western Sahara from Tan Tan on the Atlantic to the Mauritanian mining town of Zouerat – 817km via Smara with a tea break at Bir Mogrein. The shortest stage was still 500km through the light jungles of western Mali and Senegal where I limped over the border into Senegal some thirty years earlier on two flat tyres (right). I passed plenty of Dakar racers that year too and eventually ended up in Dakar myself (above left), but not on any sort of podium.
Below some snapshots from the Last Roadbook from what many still feel was the last real Dakar.