Another stage has been cut from the 2017 Dakar Rally after thunderstorms yesterday morning caused a massive mudslide at the town of Volcan  in Argentina. The mudslide, which affected the liaison section of yesterday’s stage, prevented a number of competitors from reaching the overnight bivouac at Salta.

A thunderstorm caused a massive mudslide during stage 8 of Dakar 2017

Image by Eric Vargiolu / DPPI

A statement from the organizers said that because the route through Volcan was impassable, most of the vehicles, competitors, assistance and logistics from the Dakar caravan were diverted on an alternative route through San Antonio de los Cobres, extending the distance of the liaison by about 200 km. They were not able to reach the Salta bivouac in time to start the race today. A number of the larger vehicles were not able to use the diversion, causing even more delays.

The race caravan will regroup in Chilecito today and ready themselves for the start of stage 10, between Chilecito and San Juan, tomorrow morning.

Stage 9, from Salta to Chilecito, at 977 km was set to be the longest of the event and could have seen a major shake up in the results. Assuming there are no more route changes, the competitors in the 2017 Dakar Rally have about 800km of racing left in the final three stages of the race.