Dakar Stage 7 cancelled for Bikes and Quads
Saturday 7th January, 2023 - 9:35am
Stage 7 of the Dakar Rally has been cancelled for the Bikes and Quads competitors after flooding at a camp forced a change to the route.
Stage 6 of the event had already been shortened given the Al Duwadimi bivouac was underwater, while Stages 7 and 8 have been swapped around and also modified.
However, on Saturday morning (local time; Saturday night AEDT), the motorcycle riders will take a road section from Riyadh to the Al Duwadimi bivouac before re-engaging in competition on Sunday.
The decision will be a boon for GasGas rider Daniel Sanders, who is battling illness which he suspects may have been caused by poisoning from a thorn, as well as Red Bull KTM’s Toby Price, who hurt his shoulder in a crash on Stage 5.
They will effectively get two rest days in three, given competitors will still take a break after completing Stage 8.
See below for full Dakar statement
Dakar statement on new route
With the weather conditions preventing the installation of the bivouac at Al Duwadimi in complete operating conditions for the entire caravan, stages 7 and 8 have been rearranged in marathon mode in order to propose an equivalent sporting programme that is relevant for the competitors. Based on the initial route, the specials for stages 7 and 8 have been exchanged, with shortened distances making it possible to have a manageable road section on each of the days.
Faced with the weather problems experienced again today and the level of tiredness observed among all the riders in the category, the Dakar organisers have decided to cancel the special for stage seven between Riyadh and Al Duwadimi.
The bikes and quads will therefore be invited to leave the bivouac in Riyadh from 10 AM tomorrow morning and take the road section to Al Duwadimi. On Sunday 8th January, they will then contest stage 8 as rescheduled, i.e., with the special of stage 7 from the initial route, reduced to a length of 345 kilometres.
However, stage seven will be contested by the crews in the car and truck categories as well as by the competitors on the Dakar Classic.
For stage 7, which will take place on Saturday 7th January (Riyadh > Al Duwadimi), the special will take place over 333 kilometres. Since the competitors were not expecting a genuine marathon stage at this point in the race, an assistance zone will be set up after the finishing line of the special (via a 94-km road section), for a maximum time slot of two hours. The riders, drivers and crews will then head towards Al Duwadimi (via a 240-link route) where their vehicles will be parked in a secure enclosure.
Stage 8, on Sunday 8th January, will take the return journey to Riyadh, with the loop initially planned for stage 7 on the programme, but shortened by 128 kilometres. The race against the clock will therefore take place over 345 kilometres and then the competitors will head to the bivouac in Riyadh.
The rest day will take place at the site in Riyadh on Monday 9th January and the Dakar will then resume its initially planned schedule… In the sunshine!