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Explosion, crash mar Dakar Rally

©Associated Press

January 13, 2003

CAIRO, Egypt -- Motorcyclist Patsy Quick crashed and was rushed to a hospital, and an explosion halted truck racing in the desert Sunday during the 11th stage of the Dakar Rally.

Quick crashed 26 miles into the 271-mile stage, which ended in the village of Siwa. She was taken to a hospital for surgery on a ruptured spleen, race organizers said.

On Saturday, French driver Bruno Cauvy died after crashing in Libya.

Egyptian authorities and race officials closed a section of the stage after an explosion destroyed a back wheel of a truck team near the Libyan border. The race was stopped until the truck was removed and the area was secured.

Gunder Pichlbauer, Johann Peter Reif and Arnaldo Nicoli were not injured.

It was not immediately clear what caused the explosion, but World War II era land mines litter the Egyptian desert.

Rider Fabrizio Meoni won the 11th stage. In the cars, Stephane Peterhansel won and maintained more than a 16-minute lead over Mitsubishi teammate Hiroshi Masuoka.

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