Dakar Rally tragedy as Portuguese rider Paulo Goncalves dies

The Dakar Rally experienced tragedy during the seventh stage in Saudi Arabia, as Portuguese rider Paulo Goncalves suffered a fall and died.

Portuguese motorbike rider Paulo Goncalves has died after a fall in the Dakar Rally, race organisers announced on Sunday.

The 40-year-old, who finished second in the event five years ago, was airlifted to hospital but could not be saved.

Riding for the Hero Motorsports team, Goncalves was taking part in his 13th Dakar Rally and the first to be staged in Saudi Arabia.

Sunday’s seventh stage of the race was a 546-kilometre journey from Riyadh to Wadi Al Dawasir.

A statement on the Dakar Rally website said: “Paulo Goncalves, racing on motorbike no 8, has passed away from a fall sustained 276 kilometres into today’s special.

“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.

“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.”

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