The 34th edition of the Dakar Rally kicked off today in South America, but the typically joyous day was marred by the tragic death of motorcyclists Jorge Boero.
Boero, a 38-year-old rider from Argentina, was just a few miles away from the end of the first stage when he crashed his Beta motorcycle. Boero suffered a heart attack after the crash and could not be revived.
According to the Dakar Rally website, medical help was at the scene of the crash within five minutes. Boero was airlifted by helicopter but died before he reached the hospital.
The website reads:
“Argentinean rider Jorge Boero (motorcycle no. 175) was the victim of a fall at km 55 of the special of the first stage between Mar del Plata and Santa Rosa…. Despite their best efforts, the doctors were unable to resuscitate the pilot, who died while he was being taken to hospital…. The organizers of the rally offer their heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones.”
According to AllAboutBikes.com, Boero was in the middle of his second attempt to conquer the grueling Dakar Rally. The Argentinian competed in the 14-day race in 2011, but withdrew from competition at the end of the 6th stage.
The Dakar Rally has seen 21 riders, including Boero, perish since its inception in 1979. Another 38 people, 20 of whom were spectators, have died during the Dakar Rally.
The Dakar Rally is often billed as the world’s most grueling race. For 15 days (14 days of competition) motorcycles, ATVs, cars, and trucks compete over 5000 miles through the mountains and deserts of South America.