After Saturday’s rest day during the 2020 Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia, Paulo Goncalves was running 46th overall when he suffered a crash at the 276km mark of the seventh stage on Sunday. A medical helicopter was dispatched and Goncalves was found unconscious after having gone into cardia arrest, reported Motorsport.com. Several riders attempted to help Goncalves before the helicopter arrived and the 40-year-old Portugal native was taken to Layla Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Following Goncalves’ death, stage eight of the event was canceled for bikes and quads and a memorial took place Sunday evening.
This was Goncalves’ 13th time contesting the Dakar Rally. In his first competition, he finished 25th and kept improving his results as he cracked into the top ten in 2009 and 2013 with tenth-place finishes. He also claimed the FIM Cross-Country World Championship in 2013. In 2015, he finished as the runner-up aboard a Honda.
Godspeed, Paulo Goncalves.
Main Image: DPPI Media / Dakar Rally