Stage nine of Dakar cancelled

Dmitry Sotnikov (RUS) of KAMAZ - Master races during stage 8 of Rally Dakar 2017 from Uyuni, Bolivia to Salta, Argentina.

A massive landslide causes the second stage cancellation of Dakar Rally 2017.

Stage nine of the Dakar Rally has been called off after a massive landslide on the course.

The landslide struck on Tuesday, hitting the village of Volcan, following massive thunderstorms some 160 kilometres away from Salta on the road used to get to the overnight bivouac.

It has caused the road to be cut off, which has therefore led to the second stage cancellation of this year’s race.

In a statement, event organisers ASO said: “According to the Argentinian civil security, victims are deplored in the population and considerable damage has been observed.

“As the road is cut off, most of the vehicles, competitors, assistance and logistics from the Dakar caravan were diverted on an alternative route through San Antonio de los Cobres, extending the distance of the liaison by about 200 km. They will not be able to reach the Salta bivouac in time to start the race.”

Already stage six was axed following heavy rain while stages five and eight had to be shortened, and the route was altered for stage seven.

Instead, today organisers are bidding to ensure the 10th stage from Chilecito and San Juan will still go ahead.

Stage nine was in some ways the queen stage of this year’s Dakar, its longest at a gargantuan 977 kilometres with much of it off-road.

Sebastien Loeb currently leads the car standings, with Sam Sunderland at the top of the motorcycle time sheets.

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