I'm impressed with this guy and the organisaton for taking this decision.Dakar Rally director Etienne Lavigne has defended the decision to cancel Wednesday's "Super Belen" stage, saying every effort is being made for the event to continue as planned.
The planned 977km Salta-Chilecito test was cancelled on Tuesday evening after a rockslide
prevented a number of competitors and support vehicles from reaching the Salta bivouac.
It marks the second cancelled stage of the South American event, with heavy rainfall in Bolivia forcing Saturday's Oruro-La Paz stage to be axed and three other tests to be shortened in distance.
A Dakar statement also said that the event was lending its resources to the nearby village of Volcan, which had been badly affected by the storms.
Lavigne said providing humanitarian assistance was more important than ensuring the rally ran exactly to schedule, but promised organisers will do everything possible to run the final stages as planned.
"It's really sad for us, but when you see the circumstances that happened to that village, I'm not sure that the sporting aspect is the most important," Lavigne told reporters on Tuesday.
"Nine years now we have come to Argentina. We were aware of these conditions, there was just this year the phenomenon of very violent weather.
"In front of this, we can't do much. We succeeded at running all the other stages in good conditions, now the most important is this catastrophe."
He added: "A good organisation is an organisation that adapts successfully, that is not paralysed. We will do all we can to make Dakar 2017 continue."
Tuesday's shortened stage saw Sebastien Loeb take the overall lead of the cars classification
from Peugeot teammate Stephane Peterhansel, with the pair now 1m38s apart.
KTM rider Sam Sunderland leads the bikes race, while Kamaz driver Dmitry Sotnikov heads up the trucks standings.
Three more stages are planned between now and the end of the rally in Buenos Aires on January 14.