Terrorist threat on Dakar Rally

Cycle News Staff | January 11, 2000

The organizers of the Paris-Dakar Rally have just announced that they have been informed by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs that there is a serious risk of an external terrorist attack on the Dakar rally while it is passing through Niger.

“As the safety of all the people in the rally is the absolute priority of the organizers, the rally will not leave from Niamey tomorrow morning,” the press release stated. “The possibility of an air lift to avoid the area considered to be at risk is currently being evaluated. The final decision concerning the continuate of the rally will be announced in the next few hours.” Meanwhile, overall leader Juan Roma got lost during today’s sixth stage, allowing Richard Sainct to gain some ground in the standings.

Roma now leads Sainct by 22 minutes and 22 seconds, with Heinz Kinigander lying third, some 43 minutes behind his KTM teammate Roma.

Today was a bad day for American Jimmy Lewis. The BMW rider was well on his way to victory in the stage when he encountered mechanical problems and faded to 13th place. He is still fifth overall, however.