A TEAM entered for next year’s Lisbon-Dakar rally is to be sponsored by two Algarve tourism organisations.
The Região de Turismo do Algarve, (RTA) and the Associação de Turismo do Algarve, (ATA) are backing three Algarvean motorbike riders to the tune of 300,000 euros.
Ruben Faria, Ricardo Pina and Nuno Mateus, who will be supported by three mechanics, will be called SPEDakar and, as part of the sponsorship deal, a marketing campaign will be launched throughout Portugal and abroad.
The riders will be involved in promoting the Algarve in a series of events next month in Spain.
Hélder Martins, president of the RTA said: “The union of Algarve tourism and the team will lend support to the riders and take the name of the Algarve to the rest of the world.” He added that the team has great potential and a bright future.
The motorcyclists said they believe they have a greater chance of winning with this financial and mechanical support, as they offered their thanks to Martins. “We are confident that it will be a success,” said Ricardo Pina.
They felt there would be some difficult terrain along the way, especially in Morocco and Mauritania, but Ruben Faria, who was part of one of the successful teams to complete the 2006 Dakar rally, said that it was his dream to win this year.
The Euromillions Lisbon-Dakar 2007 rally starts on January 6 and will stop in Portimão on the same day for an overnight break, before continuing to Spain.
The competitors will travel through Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Mauritania, Mali and Senegal before reaching Dakar.
A fans forum has been created on the official website for the Algarve team.
Visit www.spedakar.com to read about all of the latest developments.