Dakar Stage 1 cancelled due to poor weather
The first stage proper of the 2016 Dakar Rally has been cancelled for all categories due to heavy rain.
Following Saturday's interrupted prologue, the opening full-length stage of the Dakar was due to take place on Sunday, taking competitors from Rosario to Villa Carlos Paz with a 227km timed section for bikes and quads, and 258km for cars and trucks.
The first bike was due to start the stage at 0800 local time (1100 GMT), but a downpour forced rally organisers to delay the start, with the bikes and quads assembled at the start making their way to the first checkpoint together.
With the weather failing to improve, the decision was finally taken to cancel the stage altogether for all categories for safety reasons, as the helicopter was unable to take off.
The competitors will therefore travel by convoy to Villa Carlos Paz untimed.
It means that, following the prologue, Joan Barreda and Ruben Faria continue to jointly head the bike standings, Ignacio Casale leads the quads and Bernhard ten Brinke heads up the car classification.
The trucks did not take part in the prologue at all after a crash that left 11 spectators injured, and are set to run competitively for the first time on Monday, when the Dakar heads to Termas Rio Hondo.
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