Published: Mon, January 13, 2020
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Dakar Rally: Motorcyclist Paulo Goncalves dies after crash in Saudi Arabia

Dakar Rally: Motorcyclist Paulo Goncalves dies after crash in Saudi Arabia

Warning: The below video shows footage from today's stage, including the aftermath of the tragic crash and the highly emotional reaction of the riders, as well as a statement from organisers and a tribute to Goncalves.

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

The 40-year-old suffered the fatal accident after 276 kilometres (171 miles) of the seventh stage.

A helicopter arrived with the rider eight minutes after organisers were alerted to the crash, but he was pronounced dead at Layla Hospital.

Goncalves, the 2013 cross-country rallies world champion, was taking part in his 13th Dakar Rally and was runner-up to Marc Coma five years ago.

"The entire Dakar caravan would like to extend its honest condolences to his friends and family", the organisers' statement said. The last time a competitor passed away in the Dakar was in 2015, when Polish rider Michal Hernik was found dead on Stage 3 of the event.

The Indian-backed Hero Motosports rider only made it to this year's first Dakar staged in Saudi Arabia after recovering from a ruptured spleen in a crash in his native Portugal in December.

Australian Toby Price, the defending champion, finished an hour and 20 minutes behind Barreda but organizers said he stopped to try to help Goncalves and will have his position recalculated. Since making his debut at the race in 2006, Goncalves accumulated two top-10 finishes-one in 2012 and another the following year.

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