Spanish motorcyclist Carles Falcon dies after Dakar Rally crash

File picture: Eric Vargiolu / Red Bull Content Pool via AFP.

File picture: Eric Vargiolu / Red Bull Content Pool via AFP.

Published Jan 16, 2024


Spanish motorcyclist Carles Falcon has died from the injuries he suffered last week on the second stage of the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia, his team said Monday.

"On Monday, January 15, Carles passed away. The medical team has confirmed that the neurological damage caused by the cardio-respiratory arrest at the time of the accident is irreversible," the TwinTrail Racing Team said in a statement posted on Instagram.

"Carles was a smiling person, always active, who enjoyed with passion everything he did, especially motorcycles. He left us doing something that was his dream, racing the Dakar," it added.

The high-speed stage over jagged rocks and winding sand dunes in the Saudi desert was almost complete on January 7 when the experienced 45-year-old off-road rider from Tarragona crashed.

Falcon was taken to hospital in Saudi Arabia in a medical helicopter, and later flown back to Spain where he had been in intensive care.

TwinTrail said at the time he had suffered a cerebral oedema and fractured vertebrae.

At the evening briefing for teams and competitors at the rally bivouac in Hail on Monday organisers showed a photo of Falcon on the stage.

"It's not an easy moment. Our hearts will be hurt tomorrow but we will run this day in his honour, thank you for him," said race director David Castera to a round of applause.

"We organised this race to be a party," Castera told AFP.

"But we know that it is a risky sport, all the participants know it. When that happens it is always a painful moment."

Other motorcyclists expressed their sadness.

"This sport scares you every year and we really realise it when it affects someone close to us. We are all dismayed, we think hard of the whole family and their team," said Spanish rider Javi Vega told AFP.

TwinTrail added an appreciation of the rider in their statement.

"Computer engineer by training. Motorcycle instructor and motorcycle travel guide by passion," the statement said.

"There are many who have learned at his side. He taught with patience, energy and happiness. He made everyone enjoy the motorcycle. This is what has made us left and we will always keep it with us."

Since the first Dakar rally in 1979, 28 participants, 23 of them motorcyclists, have died during or after the race, according to AFP data.

Agence France-Presse

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