The 786km route in Bolivia from Oruro to the capital La Paz, featuring a 527km long special, did not take place due to ‘extreme climatic conditions’.
Competitors will now essentially have had a two-day rest before the action resumes on Monday with the official rest day on Sunday still taking place.
A Dakar Rally 2017 statement said: “Considering the extreme climatic conditions and that some drivers are still on the stage course, considering that it is impossible to bring the vehicles of all participants back to the bivouac and prepare the next stage in the best conditions, considering that people of the organisation in charge of the reco of the stage course informed that the road is impracticable, the sixth stage ORURO-LA PAZ has been cancelled.”
Marc Coma, Dakar Rally sporting director, added: “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.”
As a reminder of the standings so far, Team Peugeot driver Stéphane Peterhansel currently leads the way in the car category from teammate Sébastien Loeb.
KTM Factory Team rider Sam Sunderland, fresh off his second stage win on Friday, is at the top of the leaderboard in the bikes classification.
On the quad bikes, Frenchman Simon Vitse is in first place with Ignacio Casale still in the mix in fourth while in the trucks Gerard de Rooy tops the standings, ahead of Kamaz drivers Eduard Nikolaev and Dmitry Sotnikov.
Credits : Photos and content courtesy of Red Bull Media