DAKAR 2009

Organisers cancel stage due to fog

Persistent fog has forced Dakar organisers to cancel stage 11 that links Copiapo to Fimabala in Argentina. The cancellation means a second day of rest for participants and their cars after Tuesday's difficult stage in Atacama's mountainous dunes.


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REUTERS  - Wednesday's 11th stage of the Dakar Rally has been cancelled due to heavy fog.

"As the timing of the stage cannot be altered due to the crossing of the Andes and the crossing of the border between Chile and Argentina, organisers have decided to cancel stage 11 between Copiapo and Fiambala," said a statement on the rally's website (www.dakar.com).

The competitors will now drive the 680-km route without racing their vehicles.

Leader Carlos Sainz, who has won the last four stages, is nearly 25 minutes ahead of American Mark Miller in the car race.

Sainz's fellow Spaniard Marc Coma has a lead of one hour 25 minutes in the motorbike event.

The controversial race was marred by another serious injury on Tuesday, with Spanish motorbike rider Cristobal Guerrero in a coma after crashing during stage 10.

The rally has already claimed the life of French motorbike rider Pascal Terry. British competitors Paul Green and Matthew Harrison were also badly injured after their car overturned in the first stage.

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