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Dakar 2017: Stage nine cancelled following massive landslide

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A second stage in the 2017 Dakar Rally has been cancelled, what would have been Wednesday’s stage nine of 12 in the rally, Salta to Chilecito, following more brutal weather on the rally route.

This follows the stage six cancellation, which occurred before a scheduled rest day late last week. Nightly coverage of this year’s Dakar runs at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

A statement released from the Dakar Rally organizers explains the damage and the reasoning:

“A massive landslide caused by thunderstorms happened this morning at 10.30am on the road used to join the bivouac, 40 kilometers north of Jujuy, 160kms away from Salta, hitting the village of Volcan. According to the Argentinian civil security, victims are deplored in the population and considerable damage has been observed.

“The organization offered its sanitary facilities to reinforce the local safety support on site.

“As the road is cut off, most of the vehicles, competitors, assistance and logistics from the Dakar caravan were diverted on an alternative route through San Antonio de los Cobres, extending the distance of the liaison by about 200km. ¬†They will not be able to reach the Salta bivouac in time to start the race tomorrow.

“A number of larger vehicles will not be able to use that road either.

“Tomorrow’s day will be devoted to regroup the race caravan in Chilecito to continue the event by giving the start on the 12th of January of stage 10, between CHILECITO and SAN JUAN.”

Sebastien Loeb and Sam Sunderland led in the car and bike stages at the conclusion of Tuesday’s stage eight. There would have been four stages left to complete but this cancellation drops the number to three.

Lewis Hamilton enjoys epic trip to NASA’s Johnson Space Center (VIDEO)

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Lewis Hamilton went to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston earlier this week, a thrill for the driver of a land-speed rocket for Mercedes AMG Petronas to then see actual ones.

In today’s pre-race coverage for the United States Grand Prix, NBCSN takes you behind the scenes of the trip in Houston. You can see that video, above.