Sébastien Loeb overcame the adverse weather conditions to win his second Dakar Rally 2017 stage.
Bad weather hit on Friday with Stage 5 curtailed after 219km of a 447km route. Having navigated the first part of the timed stage, the competitors did not start the second portion after the neutralised zone with the tracks no longer said to be negotiable on the way to Oruro.
One notable absentee from the start line in Tupiza was 2010 winner Carlos Sainz with the significant damage from his crash down a ravine on Thursday forcing his premature retirement from the race.
Loeb saw off a close fight with Nani Roma to win his second stage of the week.
The Frenchman opened up a significant gap in the middle part of the day only to make things difficult by going wrong near the end, almost allowing
Roma to catch him before holding on to win by 44 seconds.
Team Peugeot teammate and 12-time winner Stéphane Peterhansel is the new overall race leader having arrived in third.
The curse of the stage starter struck again though with Cyril Despres having a tough time navigating, as did Giniel de Villiers who got in big trouble and lost half an hour.
Loeb said: “It’s very satisfying to have two stage wins already. The rain was very heavy so I guess the organisers made the right decision to cut the stage short. This meant we had a long liaison to drive back to the bivouac but when you have won the stage nothing feels too bad.