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Death at Dakar

Belgian motorcyclist Eric Palante
Belgian motorcyclist Eric Palante
Dakar.com

The death of veteran motocyclist Eric Palente and two spectators said to have been covering the event for a motor racing magazine. Agustin Ignacio Mina (19) and Daniel Eduardo Ambrosio (51) cast a dark cloud over the Dakar Rally in Argentina yesterday. The latter pair were said to have been covering the event for a motor racing magazine.

Palente’s body was discovered at kilometer 143 between the cities of Chilecito and San iguel de Tucuman after he failed to finish the fifth stage of he race on Thursday. The cause of death is under an investigation being overseen by Judge Analia Castro from the province of Catamarca.

“He knew the race very well, having competed in it 11 times,” according to organizers. “Over the years his enthusiastic, but serious approach had made him one of the pillars of the event.

Born in Vaux-SousChevremont, Belgium January 21, 1963, Palante’s best result in the race was 66th in 2012, yet his goal was always to “win the amateur trophy for motorbikes.”

The Dakar Rally is a treatcherous race run over rugged terrain in “hard to control areas,” throughout the world, and has produced numerous fatalities over the years (both on and off the course), including the death of French motorcyclist Thomas Bourgin last year in a collison with a Chilean police car, as well as two fans who were killed in a crash between two taxis and a support vehicle.

The race, which began last Sunday (Jan. 5th) in Rosario, Argentina will end Jan. 18 in Valapariso, Chile. It is the 6th year in a row that it has been run in South America.