Its deadly legacy continues to haunt the Dakar Rally with the announcement that yet another competitor has lost their life as the result of a crash during the event.
The Dakar Rally organisation announced today that French rider Pierre Cherpin passed away from injuries sustained racing the 7th stage of the 2021 edition of the race.
“During his transfer by medical plane from Jeddah to France, Pierre Cherpin died from the injuries caused by his fall during the 7th stage from Ha’il to Sakaka on January 10th,” the official Dakar release stated.
Cherpin crashed at the 178th kilometre of the stage around 1:00 p.m. Doctors found him unconscious when they reached him by helicopter. He was then taken to Sakaka’s hospital, where the medical report revealed a severe head trauma with loss of consciousness. He was it gently operated in the neurosurgery department and had since then been kept in an induced coma, his condition having remained stable over the past few days. He was airlifted from Sakaka to Jeddah’s hospital from where he was going to be transferred to Lille’s hospital.
Cherpin was an experienced Dakar participating in his fourth Dakar. His first crack at the Dakar was back in 2009, when the Dakar took place for the first time in South America. He signed up in the unassisted bikers' category and came back in 2012 still in the same category. He completed the race both times, a huge achievement for any rider let alone one soloing the race. He went back for a third time in 2015 but he had to give up after an engine failure.
Six years later, in 2021, he joined the same category, known now as "Original by Motul". On the evening of the 6th stage, he was occupying the 77th position in the general standings.
This 52-year-old entrepreneur and sailing enthusiast had no other ambitions than to experience an adventure, without really worrying about the podium: "I am an amateur, I don’t want to win but to discover landscapes that I would never have had the opportunity to see otherwise. Everything is exciting: riding the bike, living out your passion, getting to know yourself”.