Dakar Rally Officials have decided to postpone Monday’s scheduled stage of the event between Tupiza in Bolivia and Salta in Argentine due to safety concerns, brought on by poor weather conditions in the area.
Heavy rain in the area has made conditions difficult, and although it may have been possible to run the stage, the decision was made to allow all of the crews to travel by road instead, and resume on Tuesday for the 372-kilometre timed section between Salta and Belen.
Marc Coma, the Dakar sporting director, points out the poor conditions of the Tupiza bivouac, the destination of Sunday’s stage, as proof of the poor conditions facing the competitors, and he said the risk was just not worth taking on Monday.
“We have travelled from one area of Bolivia to another, and we are now in a location where the weather is more changeable,” said Coma. “And in the last few hours it has been hit hard by rain.
“The bivouac is already in poor condition. It would be possible for us to hold a special stage tomorrow, but we prefer not to take a risk and will instead send out whole caravan by road, and continue the race from there.
“In principle, we knew from the start that this part of Bolivia is sensitive in terms of weather. Holding the stage would be risky and we do not want to alter the dynamics of what has been a fantastic Dakar up to this point.
“We prefer to be a little conservative today and then be able to hold stage 10 in the best way possible.”