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Last Updated: Friday, 7 January, 2005, 12:25 GMT
Bad weather wipes out Dakar stage
Defending Paris-Dakar champion Stephane Peterhansel in action
Stormy weather has halted Stephane Peterhansel's progress
Stormy weather forced saw stage eight of the Dakar Rally between Tichit and Tidjikja cancelled on Friday.

The remaining competitors will now travel the 538-mile route across the Mauritanian desert together rather than under race conditions.

"The organisation has decided to modify the race," a race spokesperson said. " "Bad visibility has forced most of the (safety) helicopters to stay grounded."

So far, 31 competitors have retired from the gruelling race.

Defending champion Stephane Peterhansel holds the overall lead in the car division while fellow Frenchman David Fretigne is ahead in the motorbike race.

The next stage, due to take place on Saturday, goes between Tidikja and Atar.

Peterhansel moves into Dakar lead
06 Jan 05 |  Motorsport
McRae crashes out of Dakar Rally
05 Jan 05 |  Motorsport
McRae storms back into Dakar lead
04 Jan 05 |  Motorsport
Gordon back on top in Dakar rally
03 Jan 05 |  Motorsport
Stage win gives McRae Dakar lead
02 Jan 05 |  Motorsport
Gordon grabs early Dakar glory
31 Dec 04 |  Motorsport

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