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China Grand Rally’s race authorities have announced that the fifth stage of the rally – the longest special stage – has been cancelled, citing safety issues.
There is to be no fifth stage of the China Grand Rally and as a consequence the standings from yesterday’s #event remain. Race organisers decided to suspend all activity for safety reasons after heavy rain over recent days broke up large swathes of the track on the scheduled route. Likewise, the presence of vehicles and heavy trucks – mobilized to repair the damage – have increased the risks to competitors.
The overall standings remain unchanged with Joan Barreda topping the China Grand Rally leaderboard, with a 48 minute advantage over the second place rider and a 1:23’4” difference with teammate Michael Metge in third place.
The 374.51 kilometre sixth stage, between Alxa YouQi and ZhangYe, will include 179 kilometres of timed special stage and will take in some of the huge dunes of the immense Gobi Desert.
STAGE: CANCELLED OVERALL: 1ST / 08:52'04
We were waiting at the start for an hour but after the rain of the last few days they have decided, for safety reasons, to cancel the special stage as there were so many dangers. It’s a bit strange for us who are used to dealing with danger, but the riders out here are perhaps not. It is a shame because we wanted to get some mileage in. Still, we will get some kilometres under our belts over the next four days.
STAGE: CANCELLED OVERALL: 3RD / +1:23'04
At the very start of the special they told us that it had been cancelled. It’s a pity because it was a very long special stage with a really nice track at the beginning and a lot of dunes; it would have made a nice training session. For me it’s disappointing as I had a good chance to make up time on Monleón, but…what can we do about it? We will try and push a bit harder.
Today’s stage has been cancelled and therefore nothing changes. It is a shame as the riders were really looking forward to riding in the dunes of this fabulous desert. Now we are heading back to the bivouac and we will try to carry on with the normal programme of the team. We will have more time to check and work on the bikes ahead of tomorrow’s stage. The riders will be able to get some rest and prepare the roadbook more calmly which they will appreciate.
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