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The Honolulu Advertiser
Updated at 3:05 a.m., Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Dakar Rally says French motorcyclist found dead

Associated Press

PARIS French motorcyclist Pascal Terry has been found dead during the Dakar Rally in Argentina.

The 49-year-old Terry had gone missing Sunday during the second stage of the race, between Santa Rosa and Puerto Madryn, organizers said in a statement.

Terry was found early Wednesday in an area of dense vegetation, about 50 feet from his motorcycle, without his helmet and with food and water beside him.

Las Pampas regional police are investigating the death. It was Terry's first time taking part in the Dakar Rally.

This is the first year the famed motor race is being held in South America. Organizers called off last year's race in Africa because of terrorist threats.

Terry informed race organizers Sunday that he had run out of gas but then obtained some from another rider.

Later, Terry sent out an alert, and a search was launched. Rescuers had a difficult time because of the dense terrain.

On Tuesday, the search was briefly called off after rescuers thought they had spotted him. A rescue team finally reached him overnight.

There have been a series of deaths among competitors in the 31-year history of the race. Two died during the last race, in 2007.

The rally finishes on Jan. 18 in Buenos Aires.