Vale Paulo Goncalves

Rennie Scaysbrook | January 12, 2020

Paulo Goncalves has died following an accident on Stage Seven of the 2020 Dakar Rally.

Vale Paulo Goncalves
Dakar veteran Paulo Goncalves, seen here in 2017, has passed away, aged 40.

The veteran Dakar rider, who first competed in the event in 2006, crashed at the 276 km marker at 10:16 am local time. The Portuguese rider found unconscious, having gone into cardiac arrest and was assisted at the scene by Red Bull KTM’s Toby Price and stage winner, Monster Energy Honda Team rider Kevin Benavides.

Goncalves was airlifted from the accident scene to Layla Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He was 40-years-old.

Goncalves was an integral feature of the Dakar in recent years, having competed for BMW, the Speedbrain Husqvarna team and Team HRC, with his best result of second overall coming in the 2015 race behind Marc Coma.

The Portuguese also clinched the 2013 FIM Cross-Countries Rally World Championship for then BMW-owned Husqvarna.

Goncalves switched to Hero Motorcycles for 2020, after his former team, Speedbrain, announced an alliance with the Indian manufacturer. He was teamed with his brother-in-law Joaquim Rodriguez.

His 2020 Dakar was going well, having finished in the top 10 for three straight days prior to the rest day at the mid-point of the rally.

Tributes have flowed in over social media, with racing legends such as Marc Marquez, Marc Coma, Laia Sainz and Toby Price all sending condolences.

Cycle News would like to join the international racing community by extending our deepest sympathies to Paulo Goncalves’ family and friends.


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Día triste para el motociclismo. Acabamos de perder a Paulo Gonçalves. Un abrazo a toda la familia. Descansa en paz.

A post shared by Jorge Lorenzo (@jorgelorenzo99) on

Rennie Scaysbrook | Road Test Editor Rennie Scaysbrook is our Road Test Editor. A lifetime rider, the Aussie made the trek across the Pacific to live the dream in the U.S. of A. Likes puppies and wheelies.