Dakar 2017 – Stage 6 – Cancelled due to extreme weather conditions

The ASO of the Rally Dakar 2017 have cancelled Stage 6. Todd Smith currently sits at 17th overall, with fellow Australian Mathew Hart in 63rd overall.
Dakar 2017 - Stage 6 Cancelled
Dakar 2017 – Stage 6 Cancelled

The Dakar Rally, en route through Bolivia, is taking a bad beating from the weather. The country, which has been suffering an extreme drought for several months, has seen the arrival of the race coincide with arrival of the rain.

The heavy downpours, while good for local irrigation, are causing more than a few headaches for the national road system. Yesterday afternoon with the Oruro bivouac a mud-filled washout, ASO, the governing body of the Rally Dakar 2017, emitted the following communication:

“Considering the extreme climatic conditions and that some drivers are still on the stage course, considering that is impossible to bring the vehicles of all participants back to the bivouac and prepare the next stage in the best conditions and considering that people of the organisation in charge of the reco of tomorrow’s stage course informed that the road is unpracticable, the 6th stage (ORURO-LA PAZ) has been cancelled.”

Marc Coma – Dakar Rally Sporting Director

“It has not been an easy couple of days for anyone. It has been tough on the competitors and the race organisers. Of course we all come here for racing but unfortunately the weather conditions have prevented Stage Six from happening. The bivouac in Oruro is underwater. We have the competitors safety as our number on priority at all times so everyone will travel to La Paz on the assistance route on Saturday.”

Dakar 2017 - Stage 5 - Sam Sunderland - Image: Marcelo Maragni
Dakar 2017 – Current overall leader Sam Sunderland – Image: Marcelo Maragni

Australian Todd Smith continues to sit in the 17th overall position after Stage 5, with Stage 6 cancelled. Fellow Australian Mathew Hart currently sits at 63rd overall.

Stage 6 from Oruro to La Paz with 527 kilometres of timed special stage, was set to be the longest of the twelve Dakar stages to be raced against the clock. Now, the stage scheduled from Uyuni and Salta, with 492 kilometres of special, will be the most lengthy in the Dakar 2017.

Today the riders, assistance and crew of the Monster Energy Honda Team will make the liaison by road to the La Paz bivouac. Tomorrow the team will get to savour a well-earned day off in the Bolivian capital and set about preparations for the following day.

As a logical consequence the race order remains the same as yesterday’s bar any minor modifications.

Dakar 2017 - Stage 6 Cancelled
Dakar 2017 – Stage 6 Cancelled
Results Stage 45 Dakar 2017
Overall standings after Stage 5 & 6
  1. SUNDERLAND, Sam – GBR – Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team – KTM 15:22’05
  2. QUINTANILLA, Pablo – CHI – Husqvarna Factory Rally Team – Husqvarna +12’00
  3. VAN BEVEREN, Adrien – FRA – Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team – Yamaha +16’07
  4. FARRES, Gerard – SPA – Himoinsa Team – KTM +20’57
  5. WALKNER, Matthias – AUT – Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team – KTM +29:01
  6. DE SOULTRAIT, Xavier – FRA – Viltais Racing Team HFP – Yamaha +36’06
  7. SVITKO, Stefan – SLO – Slovnaft Team – KTM +48’43
  8. RENET, Pierre-Alexandre – FRA – Husqvarna Factory Rally Team – Husqvarna +54’45
  9. DUPLESSIS, Martín – ARG – Asistencia Med – KTM +1:04’55
  10. GONCALVES, Paulo – POR – Monster Energy Honda Team – Honda +1:08’21
  11. RODRIGUES, Joaquim – POR – Hero Motorsports Team Rally – Hero +1:10’20
  12. BARREDA, Joan – SPA – Monster Energy Honda Team – Honda +1:12’39
  13. RODRIGUES, Helder – POR – Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team – Yamaha +1:23’38
  14. CAIMI, Franco – ARG – Honda South America Rally Team – Honda +1:27’10
  15. KLYMCIW, Ondrej – CZE – Klymciw Racing – Husqvarna +1:36’22

17. SMITH, Todd – AUS – KTM
63. HART, Mathew – AUS – Husqvarna