Thu, Jan 13, 2005 - Page 19 News List

Another biker dies during Dakar Rally, marring the event


German driver Jutta Kleinschmidt won the 11th stage of the Dakar Rally on Tuesday, as a second motorcycle competitor died in as many days.

Kleinschmidt, driving a Volkswagen, finished the 400km leg between Atar and Kiffa in Mauritania, in five hours, 29 minutes and 37 seconds.

Former champion downhill skier and Frenchman Luc Alphand was 1:04 behind, with overall leader Stephan Peterhansel 2:42 further back.

Overall, Peterhansel is 19:50 ahead of Alphand and Kleinschmidt is in third, 1:08:03 off the pace.

The motorbike section of the race was overshadowed by the death of Italian Fabrizio Meoni.

The 47-year-old was a two-time Dakar Rally winner who made his race debut in 1992. He was taking part in the grueling endurance event for the 13th time.

His death came after Spanish motorcyclist Jose Manuel Perez died Monday from injuries sustained in a crash last Thursday in Mauritania. Bikers were informed after they crossed the finish line, race director Patrick Zaniroli said.

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