Dakar Rally tragedy: Portuguese rider Paulo Goncalves dies after crash 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.
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.
Portuguese biker Paulo Gonçalves passed away.Décès du pilote portugais Paulo Gonçalves.Fallecimiento del piloto portugués Paulo Gonçalves.+ info: https://t.co/mBQxbXgtXe#Dakar2020pic.twitter.com/amW48i4C2G— DAKAR RALLY (@dakar) January 12, 2020
“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.