Bikers at the Dakar Rally can take a day of rest today, after tragedy marred yesterday’s Stage six of the race. The body of Belgian rider Eric Palante was found, the cause of his death is as yet unknown.
The official Dakar Report stated “At 08.30 hours this morning, as the crew of the broom truck was plotting the position of bike rider 122 to pick him up at kilometer 143 on the special of the fifth stage between Chilecito and San Miguel de Tucuman, they found the body of the Belgian rider Eric Palante. The circumstances of Eric’s death are the subject of an analysis by the Judge Dr Massucco of Belen. No alert was received by the organisers, and Eri’cs water had been replenished this afternoon.”
The fifty year old biker was taking part in his eleventh Dakar, he was an experienced rider who took an enthusiastic but serious approach to the famously dangerous event. Palante was the 27th competitor to lose his life to the rally since it began in 1979.
Riders endured over 460 kilometres acrros the desert during Stage six of the competition, from Tucuman to Salta in Argentina.
Alain Duclos from France won his first stage victory since 2006, taking him up to third position in the overall rankings, Marc Coma followed in second position, with Metge and Barreda coming in third and fourth.