Rally Dakar 2016 – Stage 1 Cancelled

Team_HRC_Metge_Rally_Dakar_2016-01-03After yesterday’s sweltering 40 degrees in Rosario, today nature whipped up a lighting storm bad enough that race organisers were forced to cancel the first stage citing safety concerns. Riders thus head straight towards the bivouac situated in Villa Carlos Paz.

Today there was no action on the track. The ASO, the organizers of the Dakar 2016, decided to call off completely the whole of the first stage after worries about rider safety. Thunder, lightning and a heavy downpour swelled various rivers and meant that the helicopters that monitor and deal with emergences had to stay grounded. Dakar director Etienne Lavigne was given no choice but to annul the first special stage of the rally.

The overall leaderboard, as a consequence, remains unchanged from yesterday’s prologue stage.


2016 January 4. Stage 2 : Villa Carlos Paz – Termas de Río Hondo
Special sections: 450 km
Total: 786 km

The speedometer takes a leap!
The statistics speak for themselves: with around 800 kilometres to cover depending on the category, the day will be very long. There is a significant distance to cover in both the special and the liaison sections: although the terrain presents no real difficulties, the relatively fast tracks may already benefit those who love hills and crossing rivers and who can keep up high speeds over the whole distance. Cars and trucks are entitled to an extension on this day.

Wolfgang Fischer – Team HRC Team Manager:

Everyone was looking forward to the first big stage of the Dakar 2016 from Rosario to Carlos Paz, which was supposed to be 227 kilometres through the winding tracks of the mountains. But finally the organization decided that it had to cancel the stage due to really bad weather conditions. We were facing a lot of rain, strong winds and torrential floods in the road section. They were also expecting a lot of river crossings during the stage. It was the right decision for sure, but it is not nice to lose a good stage. With respect to safety, compliments to the race organizers for making a decision not to put the riders at risk. Also, the result could change the whole rally a lot.

Rider Standings

Provisional Standings after Stage 1

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Time/Gap
1 BARREDA Joan 6 SPA Team HRC 06’27
2 FARIA Ruben 8 POR Husqvarna Factory Rally Team +00’00
3 RODRIGUES Helder 7 POR Yamaha Motor Europe +00’03
4 VAN BEVEREN Adrien 42 FRA Yamaha Motor Europe +00’04
5 METGE Michael 19 FRA Team HRC +00’08
6 BENAVIDES Kevin 47 ARG Honda South America Rally Team +00’08
7 FARRES Gerard 23 SPA Himoinsa Team +00’09
8 QUINTANILLA Pablo 4 CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team +00’10
9 SVITKO Stefan 5 SLO Slovnaft Team +00’11
10 VILADOMS Jordi 11 SPA Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team +00’13
11 PIZZOLITO Javier 22 ARG Honda South America Rally Team +00’16
12 AZEVEDO Jean 26 BRA Honda South America Rally Team +00’18
13 BRABEC Ricky 48 USA Team HRC +00’22
14 CECI Paolo 32 ITA Team HRC +00’31
15 METGE Adrien 61 FRA Honda South America Rally Team +00’35
16 GONCALVES Paulo 2 POR Team HRC +01’00