Goncalves dies in Dakar Rally

Paulo Goncalves
Paulo Goncalves

Portuguese motorbike rider Paulo Goncalves has died after a crash during the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia.

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

A statement from organizers said he was pronounced dead in hospital having earlier been found unconscious after suffering a cardiac arrest.

"The entire Dakar caravan would like to extend its sincere condolences to his friends and family," it said.

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.

Riding for Hero Motorsports Team Rally, he had been in 46th place overall going into the seventh stage from Riyadh to Wadi Al Dawasi.

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

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