La Paz, Bolivia - The sixth stage of the Dakar Rally from Oruro to La Paz was cancelled after heavy rainfall in western Bolivia.

The 786km-long stretch planned for Saturday was impassable, Marc Coma, the organizer of the off-road endurance race said in Oruro, according to the "El Deber" newspaper.

Rally participants were instead to drive 216km to La Paz over asphalt roads. After a rest day on Sunday, they will tackle the seventh stage to the salt deserts of Uyuni on Monday.

Frenchman Sebastian Loeb won the fifth stage from Tupiza to Oruro on Friday in a Peugeot. Some parts of that stretch had to be rerouted too, due to overflowing rivers.

Loeb's countryman Stephane Peterhansel, also in a Peugeot, leads the race by 1 minute, 9 seconds. South Africa's Giniel de Villiers dropped back to eighth overall after losing half an hour on Friday. Sam Sunderland leads the two-wheel race after winning Friday's stage.

Read our full stage 5 report HERE

The 39th edition of the rally is taking place in Paraguay, Argentina and Bolivia in 12 stages covering almost 9000 kilometres and is scheduled to conclude in Buenos Aires on January 14.