Dakar 2020: Hero's Paulo Goncalves Dies After Fall

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

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

"The entire Dakar caravan would like to extend its honest condolences to his friends and family", organisers said in a statement on the rally's website.

He was the 25th Dakar fatality since the inaugural edition of the gruelling motorsport marathon in 1979, and the first since Polish rider Michal Hernik was killed in 2015 in Argentina.

It was Goncalves' 13th running of the Dakar; his debut in the rally came in 2006, and had four top-10 finishes over the years. "It isn't just a team, it is a family for us and we are devastated with the passing away of one of our members, Paulo Goncalves", Wolfgang Fischer, Head of Hero MotoSports Team Rally said.

The 2013 cross country rallies world champion was representing the Indian Hero Motorsports team, along with his brother-in-law Joaquim Rodrigues, after five years racing with Honda.

Portugese rider Paulo Goncalves. He was found unconscious by the staff of a medical helicopter and taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

"Paulo was a true champion, gentleman, reliable friend to everyone in the racing world and a role model as sportsman and personality". CMG wishes to extend its condolences to his friends and family. However, post the Stage, the organisers chose to award Kevin Benavides (Monster Energy Honda) and Toby Price with a time advantage as they had lost their respective rankings for stopping and assisting Goncalves at the time of his accident.

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In the motorbike class, US rider Ricky Brabec continues to lead. Toby Price is fourth overall.

Mini have now won six of the seven stages.

Sainz had to open the way on the stage and was swiftly caught by Al-Attiyah and Peterhansel.

The 57-year-old Spaniard in a Mini completed the longest special between Riyadh and Wadi ad-Dawasir over two minutes clear of Toyota rival Nasser Al-Attiyah with his fellow Mini driver Stephane Peterhansel in third.

"Paulo, a beloved figure of the rally, was immensely respected by both veterans and less experienced competitors who admired and were inspired by him", the group said.

"It's a really hard day for the Dakar family and I would like to give all my support to the family and team".

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