A cyclist has tragically died after suffering a heart attack during a race in the scorching heat of Morocco’s gruelling Titan Desert race.
Spanish cyclist Fernando Civera, 46, died during the second stage of the Titan Desert race which takes place between the camps of Merzouga and Ouzina in the Moroccan desert.
Local media report the sun was intense during the second stage, with 4WDs taking water to the participants during the 105-kilometre (65-mile) stage.
Pictures Credit: Golders/@Titandesert
Civera was reportedly making his way up a large dune which forces participants to get off their bikes and push it up to the peak during the midday sun.
He suffered a heart attack on the dune and activated the alert for the race operators to launch a rescue operation.
However, paramedics reportedly found Civera dead at kilometre 55 of the race and could nothing to resuscitate him.
The CEO of the race, Juan Porcar, told a briefing of participants and reporters: “It’s an enormous blow, one that you never expect to hear in sport, no matter how much we know that in these races there are these types of risks. In 14 years nothing similar has ever happened. We are never prepared for these things.”
Civera’s body was taken to Er Rachidia before it will be returned to Spain.
The third stage, a return to Merzouga, was suspended out of respect for Civera’s death. The deceased cyclist was a native of the city of Zaragoza and lived in Mexico with his partner.