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Second motorcyclist dies in Dakar

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DAKAR, Senegal -- French motorbike rider Eric Aubijoux became the second fatality of this year's Dakar Rally on Saturday during the 14th stage between Tambacounda and Dakar.

The 42-year-old died of a heart attack it was announced.

A statement said: "At 15km from the end of the stage, he came to a stop on his motorbike after feeling unwell. He then had a seizure and was not able to be revived.

"He was a motorcross fanatic who was participating in his sixth Dakar rally in which he had finished in 16th place in 2001."

South African motorcyclist Elmer Symons died earlier in the race

Spain's former world rally champion Carlos Sainz, driving a Volkswagen, won the 576km penultimate stage from Tambacounda.

Sainz claimed his fifth stage this year and finished ahead of team-mates Giniel De Villiers of South Africa and Carlos Sousa of Portugal.

Brazilian Jean De Azevedo, riding a KTM, won the motorcycle section.

Stephane Peterhansel, in a Mitsubishi, retained his place at the top of the overall car standings but lost almost four minutes to countryman and teammate Luc Alphand.

Reigning champion Alphand, the former world champion skier, now sits 7min 16sec behind Peterhansel, one of the Dakar Rally's most successful ever racers.

The six-time bikes winner and car champion in 2004 and 2005, Peterhansel still looks certain to claim a 10th Dakar title with just 16km of timed rallying around Dakar to come on Sunday's 93km final stage.

In the bikes, overall leader Cyril Despres of France finished fifth, increasing his lead to more than 36 minutes over his closest rival, team-mate David Casteu.

Casteu lost three minutes to Despres on the stage and has almost no chance of denying his countryman a second title in three years.

De Azevedo claimed a bit of glory on the day, finishing more than five minutes clear of Latvian Janis Vinters.

However, sitting 10 hours off the pace due to earlier mechanical troubles, the 32-year-old had the luxury of going flat out for victory with nothing to lose.

Aubijoux stopped after feeling faint 15km from the end of the stage.

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