Portugese rider Paulo Goncalves. File picture: Reuters
Portugese rider Paulo Goncalves. File picture: Reuters

Portuguese rider Paulo Goncalves dies after Dakar Rally crash

By Shrivathsa Sridhar Time of article published Jan 12, 2020

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BENGALURU, SAUDI ARABIA - Portuguese rider Paulo Goncalves died following a crash in the seventh stage of the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, organisers said.

The 40-year-old Hero Motorsports rider, taking part in his 13th Dakar Rally since making his debut in 2006, suffered fatal injuries after a fall, which too place 276km into Sunday's special stage from Riyadh to Wadi Al Dawasir.

"The organisers received an alert at 10:08 and dispatched a medical helicopter that reached the biker at 10:16 and found him unconscious after going into cardiac arrest," the event organisers said in a statement 

"Following resuscitation efforts in situ, the competitor was taken by helicopter to Layla Hospital, where he was sadly pronounced dead.

"The entire Dakar caravan would like to extend its sincere condolences to his friends and family."

Goncalves finished in the top 10 at the Dakar Rally four times and was runner-up to Marc Coma in 2015. 

Goncalves was 46th overall after the sixth stage on Friday. 

The Dakar Rally is known to be one of the deadliest races in the world, with around 70 deaths connected to the event since it was first staged in 1979. Less than half of those who have died were competitors, with 42 non-competitors - such as support crew and spectators - having perished, including the rally's founder Thierry Sabine, who was involved in a helicopter crash in 1986. 

The most recent Dakar-related death before Goncalves occurred in 2016, when the support truck transporting the Mitsubishi race car of French competitor Lionel Baud was involved in a crash with another truck in the Argentine province of Cordoba.

Reuters & IOL

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