- Officials say 38-year-old Jorge Boero suffered a cardiac arrest after falling
- He died on the way to a hospital, race officials say
- The motorcyclist's father was a well-known race-car driver
- Vehicles race through Argentina, Chile and Peru in the 15-day, 8,300 kilometer trek
Argentinian motorcyclist Jorge Boero died after falling in the first stage of the Dakar Rally Sunday, officials said.
Boero, 38, suffered a cardiac arrest and died on the way to a hospital, race officials said in a statement. He fell while riding in an area along the South American country's Atlantic coast, about 500 kilometers (310 miles) south of Buenos Aires, the state-run Telam news agency reported.
Boero's father, a well-known race-car driver, died in 2004, the state-run Telam news agency reported.
Established in 1978, the Dakar race is an intrepid, off-the-beaten-path rally that involves modified vehicles. Known for its strenuous itineraries, the race first took place from Paris, France, to Dakar, Senegal, and later moved to other regions of the world.
This year more than 440 racers from 50 countries are scheduled to compete in the 8,300-kilometer (5,150-mile) trek through Argentina, Chile and Peru from January 1-15.
The race began Sunday morning in Mar del Plata, Argentina, and ends in Lima, Peru.
In 2010, a woman watching the Dakar Rally died after a truck racing in the event went off the track, striking her and other fans.