Crews from 25 countries to take part in Russia’s Silk Way rally in July

Top driving teams from 25 countries will take part in this year’s Silk Way truck and 4×4 rally across central European and southern Russia, the organizers of the event said on Wednesday.

Some 135 crews will race a 3,960-kilometer route in the Dakar Series race that kicks off on June 9 in Moscow.

After passing through the cities of Lipetsk, Volgograd, Astrakhan, Stavropol and Maikop, the race will end in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, the host of the 2014 Winter Olympics, on July 16.

“Many famous masters, who always fight for victory in the most prestigious rallies, including Dakar, will take part in the race,” rally organizer and driver Semyon Yakubov told a news conference in Moscow. “The competition will be very high.”

Although the distance of the route has been cut by 700 kilometers on last year’s event, the length of the fast-speed tracks, which account for more than 60 percent of the rally’s route, has been extended by 500 kilometers, Yakubov said.

The participants will have to drive across sand for more than 800 kilometers, one third of the rally’s route, he added.

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