Stage one of the Dakar Rally 2016 in Argentina was cancelled Sunday as bad weather prevented safety helicopters taking to the air, organizers said.

"Race director Etienne Lavigne has just confirmed that today's stage has been cancelled," the Rally posted on its official website.

"The helicopters needed to guarantee the safety of the participants during the race are unable to fly due to poor weather conditions on the course of the special and at the end of the stage."

The first stage was scheduled to be a 730-kilometre stretch from Buenos Aires north-west to Villa Carlos Paz but the field will now reach the destination under link section conditions.

On Saturday 13 people were injured in a prologue stage when Chinese racer Guo Meiling lost control of his car and rammed into spectators.

The 38th Dakar Rally is a 13-stage race over 9,000 kilometres of terrain through Argentina and Bolivia to the finish line in the city of Rosario.

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