2017 Dakar Rally Stage 6 Highlights – January 7th 2017
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2017 Dakar Rally
The 2017 Dakar Rally was the 38th edition of the event and the ninth successive year that the event was held in South America. The event started in Asunción, Paraguay on January 2, then ran through Argentina and Bolivia, before returning to Buenos Aires on January 14 after 12 stages of competition. This year saw the introduction of the new UTV category.The 39th edition of the Dakar Rally began Monday in Paraguay—the 29th country to be featured in the famed off-road rally.
The stage consisted of 282 miles with a 24-mile special, and took riders from Asuncion to Resistencia. The short special, which featured slippery terrain and a tropical climate, was initially won by Yamaha WR450F pilot Xavier de Soultrait.But the Frenchman, who is supported by factory Yamaha, was later penalized a minute for speeding during the link stage, which dropped him down to 10th. This gave Sherco TVS Rally Factory’s Juan Pedrero of Portugal the overall stage-one win at 2017 Dakar.
2017 Dakar Rally Stage 6 Route
The longest stage of 2017 Dakar Rally—stage 6—was canceled Saturday due to some tumultuous rain storms in Bolivia. The South American country was under an extreme drought for the past several months, and the heavy rains quickly made a mess of the national road systems. The stage was planned to take riders 488 miles from Oruro to La Paz, which included a 327-mile special.
Due to a mud-filled washout at the Oruro, ASO, the governing body of the 2017 Dakar Rally, said: “Considering the extreme climatic conditions and that some drivers are still on the stage course, considering that is impossible to bring the vehicles of all participants back to the bivouac and prepare the next stage in the best conditions and considering that people of the organization in charge of the reco of tomorrow’s stage course informed that the road is unpracticable, the 6th stage (ORURO-LA PAZ) has been cancelled.”
All competitors will travel to La Paz on public roads with their teams now, and prepare for the only rest day of the rally Sunday at the Bolivia capital.
With the cancellation of 2017 Dakar Rally stage 6, the longest stage now will be Tuesday’s stage 8, which will take riders 554 miles from Uyuni to Salta, including a 306-mile special.
During stage 5 Friday, Red Bull KTM Factory Rally Team’s Sam Sunderland became the fifth different rider to win. The KTM 450 Rally rider of Britain also became the overall leader.
2017 Dakar Rally Overall Results (after six of 12 stages):
1. Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, 15:22:05
2. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Husqvarna, 15:34:05, +12:00
3. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 15:38:12, +16:07
4. Gerard Farres (ESP), KTM, 15:34:02, +20:57
5. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 15:51:06, +29:01
6. Xavier de Soultrait (FRA), 15: 58:11, +36:06