|Desafio Ruta 40: Storm in Argentina forced organization to cancel SS1 Monday.|
A storm that hit the intense Patagonian region, as well as much of Argentina, prevented the medical helicopter from operating all day. The situation forced the organization to cancel the first stage of the "Desafio Ruta 40" rally, which should start today (Monday) in the city of San Carlos de Bariloche.
"The strong storm prevented the helicopters to take off. This forced us to take the decision to cancel the first leg of the race because the security has mayor priority," said Paul Eli of the organization comitee. "This is a risky sport and we don´t want to play with a more complicated situation."
Heavy rains lashed Bariloche overnight. Morning panorama was no more encouraging and, after several delays of the starting time, the Race Direction decided to suspend the selective section of the day after the weather service at the Airport of Bariloche reports that the prognosis of the day would not be better.
The second day of the rally will be held on Tuesday, the first bike will leave Bariloche at 8:00 am local time. As announced before the ceremonial start, the rains turned roads impassable, so the original selective section was changed to the route of SS01. After completing the special stage, the rally-caravan will depart heading to Zapala. During the first few miles, drivers will encounter some muddy ares.
"We really wanted to start but if the helicopters can´t start it´s better to cancel the stage," biker Daniel Gouet said. "Think about one rider falls, it´s complicated to find and rescue him."
Quad-pilot Sebastian Halpern (Yamaha Raptor) agreed also with the situation: "Even it´s not optimal to drive through rain and in cold conditions, the security has always to come first, so we can understand the situation."
Newbee Luis Ignacio Rosselot (Mitsubishi Montero) said: "It is my first race in Cross Country Rally and was looking forward to start, so the situation is in all cases new for me. We are looking forward to SS02 on Tuesday, that the weather will improve and we could have all the security the race need to have."
UPDATE: The stages of the Desafio Ruta 40 2014
SS 01) CANCELLED
SS 02) 08/04/2014 - Route of SS01 - Bariloche round, Liaison Zapala 365,53 kms
SS 03) 09/04/2014 - Zapala – Zapala - 357,49 kms (timed)
SS 04) 10/04/2014 - Zapala – Malargue - 409,52 kms (timed)
SS 05) 11/04/2014 - Malargüe – San Juan - 232,57 kms (timed)
SS 06) 12/04/2014 - San Juan – San Juan - 106,43 kms (timed)
2014/04/07 | 22:46 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/DR