PARIS -- Hubert Auriol, the first competitor to win the Dakar Rally on a motorbike and in a car, has died. He was 68.
The Dakar Rally announced that Auriol died on Sunday. It did not specify a cause, but the Frenchman had battled heart disease for many years.
The charismatic Auriol won the race, which was then called the Paris-Dakar Rally, on a motorbike in 1981 and 1983 then in a car in 1992.
Auriol later became director of the race, a position he held for nearly a decade. In recent years, he had worked as a Paris-based auto racing consultant.
"He inspired generations of riders and drivers and has been an integral part of the rally throughout its history," the Dakar Rally said in a statement.