Argentinean Jorge Martinez Boero died on New Year's Day after falling during the first stage of the 2012 Dakar Rally in Argentina.

Racing in his second Dakar Rally, the 38-year-old fell from his Beta RR 450at the 55 km (34 miles) marker of the special first stage between Mar del Plata and Santa Rosa, according a statement on the Dakar Rally website. The statement went on to say that Boero suffered cardiac arrest after the fall and received medical help for five minutes from doctors who'd arrived by helicopter.

"Despite their best efforts, the doctors were unable to resuscitate the pilot, who died while he was being taken to hospital," the statement said. "The organizers of the rally offer their heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones."

After finishing second in the first stage, three-time Dakar Rally winner Marc Coma said, "I want to send my condolences to all the family and friends of Jorge Martínez Boero. When things like that happen is not good for our sport, but, above all, no one should pay such a high price for a race."

Boero was one of 185 motorcyclists entered in the 15-day race, which runs from Argentina up through Chile before finishing in Lima, Peru on January 15. Last year, his first in the Dakar Rally, Boero withdrew during the sixth stage.

This was the fourth year in a row that the race has been held in South America, after being moved from Europe and Africa, and the fourth year in a row that the race has suffered a fatality, according to an Associated Press report.

By Cycle News Staff

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