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Hyperthermia and Dehydration Caused the Death of Polish Dakar Rider Michal Hernik

Hyperthermia and dehydration are the causes behind the death of Michal Hernik, tests say. Polish rider Michal Hernik was found dead some 300 meters (1000 ft) off the normal track in Stage 3 of the 2015 Dakar. The stage linked San Juan and Chilecito, in Argentina, and the race management noticed that the satellite link of Hernik’s bike was lost.
Michal Hernik 1 photo
According to Dakar sources, “when the race management detected the loss of his Iritrack signal and was informed that he had not completed the special stage at 15:16, it decided to start a search for the rider at 15:23. An ambulance helicopter found the rider 300 meters off the route at 16:03. Unfortunately, the on-board doctor could only confirm the rider’s death.”

The same sources mention that Hernik was found off the main course with his helmet removed, but with the bike not showing any signs of a crash. In the absence of traces indicating a collision, the Dakar management refrained from mentioning any potential causes for the death of the Polish rider, with an investigation being launched after his body was retrieved.

Teste carried out after this unfortunate vent revealed that the cause of death can be attributed to hyperthermia (excessive body heat) and dehydration (insufficient water in the body), visordown says. While the high temperatures and lack of water are not influencing the human body drastically over short periods of time, prolonging such inclement conditions can result in a wide variety of problems.

Lack of concentration and excessive strain on the heart are the most common things which happen under such circumstances. The lack of water thickens the blood, forcing the heart to pump more vigorously in order to move it through the body.

It is yet unknown why Michal Hernink was dehydrated, but more info is likely to surface soon. Hernik was 39, and this was his first presence in the Dakar Rally, one of his biggest dreams, after finishing the Morocco Rally in 2013 and the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge in 2014.

For a detailed explanation of the effects of hyperthermia and dehydration, please check out these two interesting guides:

How to Beat the Heat when Riding in Hot Weather, Part 1
How to Beat the Heat when Riding in Hot Weather, Part 2.


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