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Competitors are gathered in the Trocadéro Gardens next to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, ahead of the inaugural Paris-Dakar Rally, which was renamed the Dakar Rally in 2009. The race originated in December 1978, a year after Thierry Sabine got lost in the Ténéré desert whilst competing in the Abidjan-Nice Rally and decided that the desert would be a good location for a regular rally. 182 vehicles took off from the start in Paris, with 74 surviving the 10,000 km (6,200 mile) trip to the Senegalese capital of Dakar

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A well-prepared motorcyclist at Trocadéro Esplanade in front of the Eiffel tower in Paris ahead of the start of the 1980 Paris-Dakar Rally

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The Rolls Royce driven by Thierry de Montgorge and Jean-Christophe Pelletier during the 1981 rally

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A motorcycle rider seems to be in a spot of bother during the 1982 Rally

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Race fans check out some of the competing vehicles ahead of the 1983 rally

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A rider has a bit of trouble with a water hazard on the 1984 rally

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A competitor drives through some moonscape-esque desert dunes in the 1985 Rally

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Most of the locals seem unimpressed with this competitor’s wheelie

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A competitor takes a break from the 1987 rally and lays down to rest on the side of the road

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Locals look on as a competitor passes their village during the 1988 race

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Locals collect together the wreckage of destroyed vehicles from the desert

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A Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 deals with the dunes as the Sun sets in the 1988 edition of the race

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The rolled-up Mitsubishi belonging to Japanese drivers Akao and Terashima lies on the sand in the Tripoli-Ghadames leg of the 1989 race

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A pilot walks through the Libyan desert during the Gadhames-Ghat leg of the 1989 rally

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Team-mates Fencl and Lozano drive their Liaz truck over a bridge during the leg between Nema and Tidjika, Mauritania in the 1990 Rally

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A motorycle rider checks out a stuck truck during the N’Gourti-Dirkhou, Niger leg of the 1990 Rally

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We are all just flies on the windscreen (or grill)