Buenos Aires gives big send-off to Dakar racers (PHOTOS)

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The official start of the Dakar Rally is set for tomorrow, but today in Buenos Aires, spectators lined the streets as competitors took part in a parade that ended at the Casa Rosada, the home of the president of Argentina.

Buenos Aires will host both the start and the finish of the 5,600-mile odyssey on Jan. 17.

Today’s colorful show took place on the same day that scrutineering for this year’s Dakar came to an end at the city’s Tecnopolis complex.

According to the Dakar website, a total of 406 vehicles – 161 cycles, 45 quads, 137 cars, and 65 trucks – have been officially cleared to race. AFP reports that eight vehicles (one car, three quads, three cycles, and a truck) were ruled unfit to take part in the event.

As we look ahead to Sunday, here’s some social media from today’s parade: