Michal Hernik died of dehydration in Dakar Rally
Buenos Aires, Jan 9 (IANS)
Polish motorcyclist Michal Hernik (KTM), who was found dead on Day 3 of the Dakar Rally, died of dehydration, organisers said. An autopsy was performed to determine the cause of death after Hernik, 39, was discovered Tuesday lying dead near the day's route between the Argentine cities of San Juan and Chilecito and the organisers revealed Thursday that the rider had died of dehydration, reports Xinhua.
It was his first time competing in the rally.
A helicopter search party found his body at 4 p.m. local time, only 14 km from the finish line, at km 206 of the Cuesta de Miranda roadway, in La Rioja province. The motorcyclist had previously competed in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge in 2014 and the Morocco Rally in 2013, both of which he completed.
The racer became the fifth competitor to die since the tough annual endurance race was relocated to South America in 2009.
That year, France's Thierry Pascal died, followed by Argentina's Jorge Martinez Boero in 2012, France's Thomas Bourgin in 2013 and Belgium's Eric Palante in 2014. All were riding motorbikes.
The rally, which entered its fifth day Thursday in Chile, features 13 stages in all and concludes Jan 17 in Argentina's capital Buenos Aires after also traversing Bolivia.