Drawing upward of 550 entries from 50 countries, there were 262 motorcycles, 205 cars and 100 trucks entered for the 2008 event, scheduled to cover 5762 miles of the world's least-friendly terrain between Lisbon, Portugal, and Dakar, Senegal, in 15 days. An international feed sends the stark beauty and sometimes-lethal drama to millions of television sets around the world. Having claimed 49 lives in 29 years, the rally has no respect for humanity or talent. After winning in '01 and '02, Italian legend Fabrizio Meoni- shown here on the #1 Team Gauloises KTM-died after crashing in Stage 11 of the '05 rally. His was the second fatality that year, one day after factory KTM rider Jose Manuel Perez of Spain succumbed to injuries sustained in a Stage 7 crash. The world shrinks with the loss of such giants. And if the Dakar Rally has left its last tracks across the Sahara, we'll all dream a little smaller.