Rally claims first victim

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Argentinian motor-cyclist Jorge Martinez Boero has died after a crash on the opening stage of the Dakar Rally. The 38-year-old, who was competing in the event for only the second time, fell during the stage between the Argentinian cities of Mar del Plata and Santa Rosa and suffered a cardiac arrest.

Despite medics reaching him by helicopter five minutes later, he died on his way to hospital.

Chile’s Francisco Lopez heads the motor-cycle standings after the first stage, having had to battle back from multiple fractures sustained in the Rally of Tunisia to even take the start line. Leonid Novitskiy leads the car category ahead of Mini team-mates Krzysztof Holowczyc and Stephane Peterhansel, while Sergio La Fuente leads the quad standings.