One day after Polish motorcycle rider and Dakar Rally rookie Michal Hernik was found dead along the Stage 3 route from San Juan to Chilecito, his teammate did not take the start for today’s Stage 4.
According to the Dakar’s “live feed,” 44-year-old rider Pawel Stasiaczek (pictured) – who raced alongside Hernik for KTM squad FarmaProm – was the only one of the remaining bike competitors not to start the run from Chilecito to Copiapo, Chile.
Yesterday, Hernik’s body was found along kilometer 206 of the third stage. A statement from race officials said that the circumstances of his death were yet to be determined, and that Hernik did not show “external” signs that he had been in a crash.
Officials detected the loss of his Irritrack signal and after being informed that Hernik had not finished the stage, a search party went out to find him. Just after 4 p.m. local time, a helicopter spotted his body 300 meters off-course, and his death was subsequently confirmed by a doctor.
Hernik is the fifth competitor to die in the Dakar since it was moved to South America in 2009, and the 24th fatality in the race’s long history.