Dakar rider dies on opening day

Argentinian succumbs to chest injuries following crash

THE FIRST day of the Dakar Rally was overshadowed with the death of Argentine motorcycle rider Jorge Martinez Boero.

Boero, 38, died on Sunday following an accident on the first stage of the Dakar Rally. He crashed on the 55th kilometre of the stage, just 2km from the finish line. He reportedly died of a heart attack while being air-lifted to hospital.

His previous Dakar Rally appearance, last year, ended when he crashed into a ravine during stage six in Chile and had to wait eight hours before being rescued.

The annual off-road race, originally from Paris to Dakar in Senegal, moved to South America in 2009, largely because of security concerns. Boero's death was the 21st of a competitor during a Dakar Rally, organised 29 times in Africa from 1979 before moving to South America in 2009. In total, 59 people have died during the event, including more than 20 spectators.

"I'm going to give it everything, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger," Boero had posted late Saturday on his Twitter page.

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