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12 Jan, 2020 11:30

Dakar Rally tragedy: Portuguese rider Paulo Goncalves dies after crash in Saudi Arabia

Dakar Rally tragedy: Portuguese rider Paulo Goncalves dies after crash in Saudi Arabia

Portuguese motorbike rider Paulo Goncalves has tragically died after a crash during Sunday's seventh stage of the 2020 Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia.

The tragedy took place after 276 kilometers (171 miles) of the day’s Riyadh to Wadi Al Dawasir test, which is mostly comprised of sand planes and dunes.

READ MORE: Italian cyclist tragically dies after sustaining head injury right before finish

Race organizers immediately summoned a medical helicopter to the scene after the 40-year-old rider was found unconscious next to his bike.

All attempts to resuscitate him at the scene appeared to be in vain and the rider was taken to Layla Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Goncalves who was taking part in his 13th Dakar Rally was placed 46th in the overall bike standings after six stages.

The organizers received an alert at 10:08 (0708 GMT) and dispatched a medical helicopter that reached the biker at 10:16 and found him unconscious after going into cardiac arrest,” a statement from Dakar said.

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

Goncalves is the first competitor to have died during the Dakar Rally since Michal Hernik in 2015.