Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 26 October 2020

Portugal's Paulo Goncalves dies during Dakar Rally seventh stage, organisers confirm

The 40-year-old suffered the fatal accident after 276 kilometres of the day's ride

Portuguese motorbike rider Paulo Goncalves has died after a crash during Sunday's Dakar Rally seventh stage, organisers announced.

The 40-year-old suffered the fatal accident after 276 kilometres of the day's ride.

Unconscious when medics arrived he was helicoptered to Layla Hospital where his death was confirmed.

He was competing in his 13th edition of the Dakar and was placed 10th in the standings.

Goncalves made his debut in 2006 and had finished in the top 10 four times, including as runner-up to Marc Coma in 2015. The 2013 cross-country rallies world champion Goncalves was sitting in 46th place overall after Stage 6 of the 2020 Dakar, which is being held in Saudi Arabia.

The Honda rider only made it to this year's Dakar after recovering from a fractured spleen in a crash in his native Portugal in December.

After recovering from surgery in time he said before the rally got underway: "It's a victory for me to be here at the start."

The entire Dakar caravan would like to extend its sincere condolences to his friends and family, a statement on the Dakar website said.

Updated: January 12, 2020 02:24 PM