Schlesser frustrated as two stages lost to security fears

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The Independent Online

Former Dakar Rally winner Jean-Louis Schlesser admits this weekend's cancelled stages have left him feeling frustrated.

Schlesser, who lies third in the event, rues the fact he had to travel from Mauritania to Bobo-Dioulasso, in Burkina Faso, without a single flat-out stage after security fears altered rally organisers' plans.

Organisers were warned about armed militias roaming around the Malian town of Mopti and altered the schedules to avoid the area.

Schlesser is frustrated at the absence of stages 10 and 11. The Frenchman said: "Over 900 kilometres of liaison is worse than a special [stage]. At least in a special you can attack."

The overall leader Stephane Peterhansel, of France, on the other hand took the opportunity to put his feet up, allowing his co-driver, Jean-Paul Cottret, to take the wheel.

The rally will not resume competitive action until tomorrow, with today already scheduled as a rest day.

Britain's Colin McRae is still attempting to finish the event despite transmission problems which have dropped him out of contention.