Wednesday’s Stage 11 of the 2009 Dakar Rally was cancelled due to heavy fog covering all the special stage route.
A statement said, “As the timing of the stage cannot be altered due to the crossing of the Andes and the crossing of the border between Chile and Argentina, the organizers decided to cancel the portion of stage 11 between Copiapo and Fiambala that should have been against the clock (i.e., the special stage)."
Competitors will therefore merely travel along the most direct connector roads to Fiambala in Argentina. Obviously, there’s no change in the standings from Stage 10, so Marc Comas (KTM) still has more than an hour’s lead over David Frétigné (Yam), who in turn is only three minutes ahead of Comas’ team-mate Cyril Depres.
The stage 12 route has a relatively short special stage, only 253 km with 265 km of connector routes before and after. Still, there’s lots of sand, rock, and altitude (up to 2,600 metres at one point) in the mountainous special stage, which loops back west from the start, then well north and back south before heading east on flatter gravel and stone terrain toward the night’s stop at La Rioja.
It’s been reported that during Stage 10, Spanish rider Cristobal Guerrero (KTM) was injured in a crash and was airlifted to a local hospital in a coma. Guerro was 76th out of 128 competitors after the ninth stage.