Dakar: Stage cancelled

Mitsubishi's Stephane Peterhansel kept his lead of the Dakar Rally on Friday after the day's competitive stage was cancelled on safety grounds following changing weather conditions

Dakar: Stage cancelled

The Frenchman had set the fastest time on the punishing run from Tichit to Tidjikja but after consultation with the event's organisers he agreed that the stage should be cancelled. The poor weather and bad visibility kept most of the observation helicopters grounded and, with only a portion of cars having made it to the finish, it was decided it would be safer if the crews headed to the finish together.

"For us the position will still be the same, so it is not a major problem," said Peterhansel. "But there are many teams still stuck in the dunes and in the sand with fuel problems."

Frenchman Luc Alphand and co-driver Gilles Picard still hold second position in the rally and also backed the organisers' decision.

"It is a decision which has been forced on the organisers and we must go along with that," said Alphand.

Saturday's route will see the crews head west towards the halfway point of Atar in Mauritania, over a 361km special stage. There will then be the usual rally rest day.


Tichit to Tidjikja, special stage cancelled

Peterhansel/Cottret, Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution, 17h51m47s
Alphand/Picard, Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution, 18h13m19s
Kleinschmidt/Pons, Volkswagen Touareg, 18h14m31s
Saleh Al-Attiyah/Alain Guehennec, BMW X5, 18h14m40s
Sousa/Delli-Zotti, Nissan Pick-Up, 19h44m36s
Roma/Magne, Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution, 20h20m54s

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