Unexpected rain showers and floods are causing some damage in the program of this year’s Dakar Rally. After the change of the structure of stage 6, many riders reached the new bivouac in Riyadh already during the night. For this reason and also due to the bad weather conditions, ASO organization decided to cancel today’s stage 7.
In order to continue the race on Sunday, stage 8 will have the same route planned for stage 7 Al Duwadimi-Riyadh, reduced to a length of 345 kilometers (shortened by 128 kilometers). So today riders had to face a 476 km liaison in the direction of Al Duwadimi. There they will have their bikes in a park fermé regime and will sleep in tents supplied by the organization – like is common in the marathon stages. In the first part, the field will weave its way around valleys in the hearth of the mountains before tackling a wide open desert. The final part will take place on fast tracks.
After six stages, Monster Energy Honda Team riders are all placed in the top 10 on the overall standings – with Adrien Van Beveren (FR) in fifth place, Pablo Quintanilla (CL) in sixth position and José Ignacio Cornejo (CL) in 10th.
“The first week of this Dakar Rally was particularly hard due to several factors. Yesterday at the end of the afternoon there were not many riders back in the bivouac, so the organization decided to cancel the next stage. Today our riders will have a different day from what they expected, with the liaison Al Duwadimi where they will start tomorrow stage 8. The bivouac there was affected by floods, so they will have to sleep in a service area and get ready for a surprise marathon stage. Many changes, but this is Dakar!”
- From Monster Energy Honda Team