Dakar 2020, Day Seven: Gonçalves dies in the special

Hero rider Gonçalves passed away after a crash

The seventh day in the 2020 Dakar Rally had the longest special in the rally, 546 km long. It was a stage full of scattered dunes, small dune fields a few kilometres long and off-road tracks with sections of crossings. Hero’s rider Paulo Gonçalves crashed 276 km into the special and passed away.

Today’s stage became a sad day in the 2020 Dakar with the passing away of Gonçalves after a crash 276 km into the special. 

The seventh day of the 2020 Dakar had the longest special 546 km from Riyadh to Wadi Al Dawasir. The stage was full of dunes, some a few kilometres long.

The organizers of the Dakar received an alert at 10:08 local time and a medical helicopter was dispatched reaching Gonçalves at 10:16 local time. He was found unconscious after going into cardiac arrest. The medical team followed the procedures, made resuscitation efforts and the rider was taken to Layla Hospital by helicopter where he was pronounced dead.

Gonçalves was 40 years old and it was his 13th Dakar appearance. He was 46th in the overall standings after stage six.
 

The rider made his debut in the Dakar back in 2006 and had finished four times in the top ten. In 2013 he was the cross-country rallies world champion.

The unfortunate event is the first of this kind since Michal Hernik passed away in the 2015 Dakar.

We would like to extend our condolences to his friends and family, the Hero team and all the Dakar crew in this difficult moment. The rider would surely be missed!





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