French motorcycle rider Pierre Cherpin has died five days after crashing during the seventh stage of the Dakar Rally, organisers said on Friday.
Cherpin, 52, was taking part in his fourth Dakar rally and underwent neurosurgery after the crash.
He was placed in a medically-induced coma in hospital in Saudi Arabia.
“During his transfer by medical plane from Jeddah to France, Pierre Cherpin died from the injuries caused by his fall,” Dakar Rally organisers said.
“Urgently operated in neurosurgery, he had since then been kept in an induced coma, his condition having remained stable over the past few days.
“He was airlifted from Sakaka to Jeddah’s hospital from where he was going to be transferred to Lille’s hospital.”
Cherpin’s death is the first of the 2021 Dakar Rally, an annual off-road endurance event where competitors use vehicles including bikes, quads, cars and trucks.
In the 2020 event, Portugal’s Paulo Goncalves and Dutch motorcyclist Edwin Straver both died following accidents.