With the jubilation of American Kurt Caselli’s win of Stage Seven in the 2013 Dakar Rally, there comes bad news regarding the passing of race competitor, Thomas Bourgin. Killed during the liaison section of the seventh stage’s special timed section, the French rider was killed when his KTM race bike collided with a Chilean police vehicle.

No other details of the crash have been released by race officials, though the incident highlights the risks that riders undertake while racing The Dakar. At only 25 years of age, Bourgin was competing in his first Dakar Rally, and was in an impressive 68th position at the end of Stage Six. Our thoughts are with Bourgin’s family and friends today.

Statement by the A.S.O.: Death of the rider Thomas Bourgin

Motorcycle rider no. 106 Thomas Bourgin (FRA) was the victim of a fatal traffic accident on the link route as he made his way to the start of the day’s special stage.

The accident took place at 08.23 hours local time on the link route on the way up to the Chilean side of the mountain range. The 25-year-old rider collided with a Chilean police car that was travelling in the opposite direction. The exact circumstances of the accident are being subjected to an inquiry.

The rally’s medical teams deployed on the ground were only able to certify the rider’s death, probably instant.

Thomas Bourgin, from Saint Etienne, where he was born on December 23rd 1987, was in 68th place in the overall ranking of his first Dakar. He had realised his passion since 2009 when he took part in the Morocco Rally, followed by a 4th place in the 2011 Africa Race and a 7th place finish in the Tunisia Rally.

The organisers of the Dakar and everyone involved in it express their great sadness to his family and friends and offer their most sincere condolences.

Source: Dakar; Photo:

  • Damo

    Qu’il repose en paix.

  • Jason

    A Chilean Police vehicle? How in the hell does that happen… So sad

  • shame – its so tragic

  • The Dakar are has always been synonymous with death. It used to be innocent Africans getting run over in sandstorms, or because they were walking in the wrong place at the wrong time, or support people, mechanics getting accidentally run over or crushed when the vehicle they were working on was hit by a speeding competitor. Or the drivers making a wrong turn and going over a cliff or rolling into a gully and getting a broken neck. You really have to be some kind of lunatic to ride a motorcycle in this, certainly the most vulnerable, the modern exception being four wheeler riders, those guys are even crazier. I would ride a motorcycle in the Dakar, but no way would I do it on a four wheeler. For this kind of race I think I would definitely prefer to be in one of those 20,000 pound trucks, where you’re much more comfortable and better protected.

    Someone always seems to die. Personally I don’t really think it’s worth it.