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Polish motorcyclist Michal Hernik dies in Dakar Rally

2.13K   //    07 Jan 2015, 14:30 IST
Michal Hernik

Buenos Aires, Jan 7 (IANS)

Polish motorcyclist Michal Hernik (KTM) died of unknown causes during the Dakar Rally the organisers said. Hernik, 39, was found lying dead near the third stage route between the Argentinean cities of San Juan and Chilecito. He showed no signs of an accident Tuesday, reports Xinhua. A helicopter search party found his body 206 km of Cuesta de Miranda, in La Rioja province, around 4 p.m. local time.

It was the first time Hernik participated in the race. His death is the first in this year's Dakar rally and the fifth since the rally was moved to South America over security concerns in the Sahara desert in 2009.

That year, France's Thierry Pascal died, followed by Argentine Jorge Martinez Boero in 2012, France's Thomas Bourgin in 2013 and Belgium's Eric Palante in 2014. All were riding motorbikes. Overall, 24 deaths have been recorded since the inaugural race in 1979. 

The 9,000 km-long Dakar Rally runs through Argentina, Chile and Bolivia with the finish in the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, on January 17.

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