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Next stage of Dakar rally strongly depends on weather - Russian biker

January 08, 5:29 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Earlier the organizers of Dakar cut the fifth stage of race and canceled the sixth stage because of heavy rains

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MOSCOW, January 8. /TASS/. The next (seventh) stage of the Dakar rally strongly depends on the weather, Russian racer Anastasia Nifontova told TASS in a phone interview.

Nifontova is the first Russian female racer taking part in the world famous rally raid. She is 82nd in the bike ranking stage.

Earlier the organizers of Dakar cut the fifth stage of race and canceled the sixth stage because of heavy rains.

"It is raining cats and dogs. The sun appeared for a while but soon the sky got cloudy again. The further race is still up in the air. The longest stage has already been cancelled," Nifontova said.

"It is not clear what will be further because of the weather," she said adding that the route may be changed, partially, because on January 9 it runs across the Uyni salt flat in Bolivia.

Sunday, January 8, is a day-off. During the day the organizers may decide on the further route.

Speaking about the people standing along the route Nifotnova said.

"It is a living fence. You feel like Michael Jackson when you ride along."

She expressed concern about the safety of observers because accidents with a tragic outcome (when a car or a bike crash into the audience) used to happen in previous years.

The Russian racer said that the first days of the rally raid were difficult for her. "I felt dizzy and nausea because of the heat and I had headaches. But when we moved up higher into the mountains where it is much cooled it got better. In general my body was to get used to all this in the first days," she said.

Her teammate Alexander Ivanyutin who is 31st in the bike ranking stage also complained about the extremely hot weather in the first days.

"I was really tired after two (first) days but now I feel fine," he said in a phone call with a TASS correspondent

The 11 times champion of Russia also said that he had a problem with navigation equipment.

"The road book crashed so I had to ride without it," he said.

Ivanyutin said that he tries to ride carefully because it is important to keep the results stable during such a rally raid as Dakar. "Riding fast is dangerous here," he stressed.

Dakar rally is staged this year in Paraguay, Argentina and Bolivia and will end on January 14 in Buenos Aires.

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