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Opening stage of Dakar Rally canceled due to poor weather

2015 Dakar Rally - Day Nine

UYUNI, BOLIVIA - JANUARY 12: Thirty riders including #1 Marc Coma of Spain riding the for the Red Bull KTM Factory Team, #2 Joan Barreda Bort of Spain riding for Team HRC CRF450Rally Honda, #5 Helder Rodrgiues of Portugal riding for Team HRC CRF450Rally Honda and #7 Paulo Goncalves of Portugal riding for Team HRC on the HondaCRF450 Rally start day 9 of the Dakar Rally on the Salar de Uyuni or Uyuni Salt Flats on January 12, 2015 in Uyuni, Bolivia. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

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The opening stage of the 2016 Dakar Rally has been canceled due to poor weather conditions, race officials have confirmed on Sunday.

Several attempts were made to merely delay the start from 8 a.m., then to 9 a.m. local time.

However past 10 a.m. local time, race director Étienne Lavigne confirmed the cancellation due to the poor weather. Helicopters needed to fly overhead couldn’t do so safely; those helicopters safeguard the safety of the riders and drivers.

The field will move to Villa Carlos Paz, with motorcycles and quads in a convoy, cars on their own and trucks reserved for assistance vehicles.

The delayed start follows yesterday’s accident in the prologue, where Car 360 veered off course and injured four spectators.

Despite the difficult start to this year’s event, NBCSN will have coverage of the opening stage at 5:30 p.m. ET on Monday, January 4.

As you can see below, the severe weather in Argentina would make any racing nigh-on impossible to deal with.

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