The 9th stage of the Dakar was marked on Tuesday by the death of an Italian spectator, hit by a competitor while he was behind a dune.
The Dakar rally is once again in mourning. A spectator died on Tuesday during the 9th stage, which linked Riyadh to Harad in Saudi Arabia. It is an Italian who was behind a dune and who was hit by a competitor (whose name and category have not been revealed), said the organizer of the most famous rally-raid of the world, Amaury Sport Organization. The victim was evacuated by helicopter by medical assistance, but died during his transfer. An investigation will be opened to determine the circumstances of the tragedy. Unlike when it took place in Africa or South America, the Dakar attracts fewer spectators on the roads of Saudi Arabia, but there is obviously no zero risk. Since its creation in 1978, the race has unfortunately often been bereaved, whether by the death of competitors or spectators. In total, 77 people died on the Dakar, including 32 competitors, the latest being the pilot of an assistance vehicle, Quentin Lavallée (20), last year. The last death of a non-competitor was in 2016, when an Argentinian driver was involved in an accident with a support vehicle.
Five more stages and 860 kilometers of specials on the program
There is no doubt that a tribute will be paid on Wednesday to the Italian spectator who died before the start of the 10th stage in Harad. At the end of the first nine stages, it is the Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah (Toyota) who leads the car category, the American Skyler Howes (Husqvarna) who leads the motorcycle category, the Frenchman Alexandre Giroud (Yamaha) who leads the category quads, and the Czech Ales Loprais (Instaforex) who leads the truck category. Five stages are still on the program between now and the final finish in Dammam on Sunday, and more than 860 kilometers of specials. Hoping that another death does not taint the end of the race…