Today’s stage was marked by tragedy with the death of a participant. Our hearts and prayers go out Thomas’s friends and family.
7th stage: CALAMA – SALTA
Motorcycle rider no. 106 Thomas Bourgin (FRA) was the victim of a fatal traffic accident on the link route as he made his way to the start of the day’s special stage.
The accident took place at 08.23 hours local time on the link route on the way up to the Chilean side of the mountain range. The 25-year-old rider collided with a Chilean police car that was travelling in the opposite direction. The exact circumstances of the accident are being subjected to an inquiry.
The rally’s medical teams deployed on the ground were only able to certify the rider’s death, probably instant.
Thomas Bourgin, from Saint Etienne, where he was born on December 23rd 1987, was in 68th place in the overall ranking of his first Dakar. He had realised his passion since 2009 when he took part in the Morocco Rally, followed by a 4th place in the 2011 Africa Race and a 7th place finish in the Tunisia Rally.
The organisers of the Dakar and everyone involved in it express their great sadness to his family and friends and offer their most sincere condolences.
Hit the jump for today’s results.
Peterhansel was first across the line with his X-Raid Monster Energy MINI in today’s mountainous stage, that takes the rally into the deserts of Argentina. Followed closely by Chicherit and American bad ass Robby Gordon, Peterhansel overcame the challenges of the high altitude stage to increase his overall lead over 2011 winner Nasser Al-Attiyah.
With his fourth podium finish in the first seven staged of the rally Robby Gordon must be wondering what might have been if it weren’t for his bad luck in the early stages.
There was good news for American fans today as KTM rider Kurt Caselli took first place, 1:23 seconds ahead of overall leader Olivier Pain. Caselli is the first rookie to win a Dakar stage since Portugal’s Ruben Faria managed to do it all the way back in 2006. Caselli is really starting to show some pace and he moves up into 8th overall in the standings.