Read the text. Are the statements true (T) or false (F)?
The Dakar Rally
You’ve probably heard of the off-road motor vehicle rally called the Dakar Rally, but do you know where is finishes? Before you say Dakar, the capital of Senegal, think again! The last time the rally finished in Dakar itself was in 2007. In 2008, because of concerns about security, the rally was cancelled and a shorter, less challenging race called the Central Europe Rally was held in its place. And since 2009, the Dakar Rally has been held in South America due to the increasing risk of terrorism in Senegal.
The first Dakar Rally was held in 1978. During a race in 1977, a French competitor, Thierry Sabine, had got lost on his motorcycle in the Libyan desert. Having been rescued, he returned to France convinced that the desert landscape would provide a fantastic challenge for an international competition. The Dakar Rally began the next year, and for the next fifteen years, hundreds of drivers and motorcyclists competed in the annual long-distance race. Competitors would drive from Paris to the Mediterranean, then across the north-western corner of Africa to the Senegalese capital, trying to avoid getting lost in the desert sandstorms. Then things became complicated: the region became more and more politically unstable, and officials have had to change the starting point, rally route and finishing line of the race nearly every year since 1994.
The Dakar Rally has always been highly competitive. Each year, more than 350 car and truck drivers and motorcycle riders enter the rally, about 80 per cent of whom are amateurs. Unsurprisingly, the majority of winners have been professionals. The most successful Dakar competitor is Stephane Peterhansel, who won the rally six times riding a motorbike, before switching to a car and winning a further four titles between 2004 and 2012.
The rally has been subject to a lot of criticism. Many people have protested against it because of the impact it has on the environment. Others are upset by the fact that the race passes through countries where many people make less money in their whole lives than a wealthy competitor spends during a single rally. Nevertheless, the famous race remains as popular as ever. Among rally drivers and car companies, as well as fans who enjoy the thrill of following the progress of their favourite competitors, the Dakar Rally is still one of the most important off-road racing competitions in the world.
1 Although some people think differently, the Dakar Rally has never finished in Dakar. ____
2 Thierry Sabine had to be helped home from the desert. ____
3 The route has often changed because it is too easy to get lost in the desert. ____
4 The rally has only been won by professionals. ____
5 The rally is in danger of being cancelled as more and more people protest against it. ____