Stage six of the 2012 Dakar Rally was canceled due to bad weather rendering the route from Fiambala to Copiapo unsafe.
Heavy rain and snow on Wednesday night forced stage five of the event to be shortened by around 30 miles, and with the bad weather continuing after Thursday's action came to an end, yet more of the route has now been affected.
In a statement, event organizer the ASO said: "Due to the bad weather continuing over the Andes Cordillera, the Chilean authorities were forced to close, for the night, the border at Paso de San Francisco, situated at 4,700m. Because of the unfavorable conditions, added to the fact that the course has been hit by rain and snow, the organizers have decided to guarantee the security of the competitors and those following the rally."
The sixth stage of the Dakar was due to have taken the crews over the Andes mountains and across the border from Argentina into Chile, with a 170-mile timed section forming the backbone of the 405-mile route. Instead of the scheduled stage, a convoy has instead been organized to take the car, truck, bike and quad crews over the border.
Stephane Peterhansel continues to lead the event, 4m18s ahead of his X-raid Mini teammate Krzysztof Holowczyc.