Eighth stage of Dakar Rally cancelled after landslide

Rio de Janeiro:The eighth stage of the Dakar Rally was cancelled after a section of the planned route was hit by a landslide in northern Argentina.

The road from Salta to Chilecito near the village of Volcan was blocked on Wednesday after heavy rain and thunderstorms left it covered in mud and rock, according to officials, reports Xinhua.

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"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 ...," event organisers said in a statement.

France's nine-time world really champion Sebastien Loeb leads the overall standings, one minute and 38 seconds ahead of compatriot and defending champion Stephane Peterhansel.