Extreme conditions stop stage six

DAKAR 2017 STAGE 6 LIVE - Saturday 7 January Ururo to La Paz
Bikes start 12h30 SA time; cars 15h14
Today's stage: 786km, Special: 527km. Altitude 3800-4400m
Come back here to follow the action as it unfolds today

18h40 - bikes - KTM factory rider Matthias Walkner has called Dakar 2017 navigation into question. Walkner led on Thursday but lost half an hour and the lead to teammate Sam Sunderland, when like many others, the Austrian suffered navigation issues. “It is strange - sure, it can be hard and tricky, the navigation - but there has to be enough information,” Walkner explained. 
"Some riders also caught a waypoint from the wrong direction - that's a really shit thing for the safety - it was a long straight where you arrive like 150km/h - can you imagine if some guys arrive from the wrong direction?”
"So it is better you just don't push so much, just run all the time around fifth, but that's not what I want to do, I want to give all the day my best, push - but it looks like all pushing is for nothing. "I don't know, now I lost so much, it's pretty bad.”

18h00 - cars - Toyota's top gun Nani Roma has conceded that it is still impossible to match Peugeot's pace at altitude in spite of his Hilux benefiting more favorable inlet restrictor limits this year. "I realised it was impossible on speed when Stephane passed me in a flat area," the Spaniard conceded. "In high altitude, on speed, it's impossible. At sea level, we're competing – but in this place; impossible - we cannot follow this engine, this car.”  Dakar will remain at high altitude for two more stage until Tuesday. “We can fight them for sure, but the problem is that we have more days at high altitude. But we try to manage - the race is not finished, it's a long way to Buenos Aires - we saw these five days what happened to everybody and we continue.”

As exclusively reported on Motorsport Media earlier, today's sixth Dakar stage has been cancelled. Dakar has just issued the following statement: "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 organisation in charge of the reco of tomorrow’s stage course informed that the road is unpracticable, the 6e stage of ORURO-LA PAZ has been cancelled."

08h30 - general - Unofficial reports suggest that today's Dakar stage has been cancelled. Speculation suggests that while the weather is deemed too extreme to race, that organisers have opted to regroup to revise navigation aspects to avoid the majority of the field losing its way again in the rest of the event. Updates to follow...

Dakar 2017 has been blighted by navigation issues - it seems nobody has not been lost at least once yet and if anything, navigation has had a bigger effect on the results than anything else this year. So when the organisers boast that today’s stage “is particularly difficult in navigational terms,” it is likely wise not to try predict a winner…

That said, today could also very well be the key for the likes of Giniel de Villiers, Mikko Hirvonen, Joan Barreda Bort and Matthias Walkner - drivers and riders who have had more then their fair share of poor navigational luck - to boince back with a clear stage on the compass for once. 

Today’s stage is also a monster in distance and altitude too — 786km long and including a 527km special, the trip from Ururo to La Paz Bolivia for the rest day, the route includes dunes and mountain passes among its physical challenges, along with a ride along the banks of Lake Titicaca and should see many a competitor arrive in the Bolivian capital after dark this evening.

Yesterday Sebastien Loeb and Sam Sundrland got lost least in their efforts to win the stage. What will today bring?

Dakar 2017 Results - Cars - Stage 5
1. Sebastien Loeb(Peugeot) 2:24:03
2. Nani Roma (Toyota) +0:44 
3. Stephane Peterhansel (Peugeot) +1:31
4. Cyril Despres (Peugeot)+10:33
5. Romain Dumas (Peugeot) +11:55
6. Conrad Rautenbach (Toyota) +16:42
7. Eric Bernard (Buggy) +18:08
8. Orlando Terranova (Mini) +21:51
9. Jakub Przygonski (Mini) +28:59
10. Giniel de Villiers (Toyota)+29:51:33

Cars - Overall
1. Stephane Peterhansel(Peugeot) 14:02:58
2. Sebastien Loeb (Peugeot) +1:09
3. Cyril Despres (Peugeot) +4:54
4. Nani Roma (Toyota) +5:35
5. Mikko Hirvonen (Mini)+42:21
6. Jakub Przygonski (Mini) +59:55
7. Orlando Terranova (Mini) +1:04:49
8. Giniel de Villiers (Toyota) +1:08:11
9. Boris Garafulic (Mini) +1:57:40
10.Romain Dumas (Peugeot) +2:27:15
15. Conrad Rautenbach (Toyota) +4:20:19

Bikes - Stage
1. Sam Sunderland (KTM) 2:21:51
2. Paulo Goncalves (Honda) +7:07
3. Adrien van Beveren (Honda) +7:29
36. Vince Crosbie (KTM) +1:15:34
103. Joey Evans (KTM) +2:11:32
DNF. David Thomas (Husqvarna) 
Quads: 1. Kees Koolen (Barren Racer) 2:57:43

Bikes - Overall
1. Sam Sunderland (KTM) 15:22:05
2. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) +12:00
3. Adrien van Beveren (Yamaha) +16:07
42. Vince Crosbie (KTM) +3:41:48
91. Joey Evans (KTM) +10:58:04
Quads: 1. Simon Vitse (Yamaha) 19:32:22

Trucks - Stage
1. Gerard de Rooy (Iveco) 2:39:12
32. Behringer/Berriman (MAN) 3:02:24
Trucks - Overall
1. Gerard de Rooy (Iveco) 14:06:07
26. Behringer/Berriman (MAN) +7:11:57

TODAY'S FINALIST - Foton Tunland 2.8 DC Granite.  CLICK HERE to read all about it!