Dakar Rally: Motorcyclist Paulo Goncalves dies after a fall in Saudi Arabia

<pre><pre>Dakar Rally: Motorcyclist Paulo Goncalves dies after a fall in Saudi Arabia

Goncalves was in the top 10 of the Dakar Rally four times

Portuguese motorcycle rider Paulo Goncalves died after falling in the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia.

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

A statement from the organizers says that he was pronounced dead in the hospital after suffering cardiac arrest.

"The entire Dakar caravan wishes to express its sincere condolences to his friends and family," it said.

The event, once known as the Paris-Dakar Rally, is taking place in Saudi Arabia for the first time after spending a decade in South America after switching from its original Sahara route to Africa for safety reasons.

Numerous drivers, drivers and crew members – including the two-time Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso – compete in different stages in twelve stages.

Goncalves, the world champion of cross-country rallies in 2013, took part in his 13th Dakar Rally and finished second at Marc Coma five years ago.

In the Rally Hero Motorsports Team, he was 46th in the seventh stage from Riyadh to Wadi Al Dawasi.

Eight minutes after the organizers were made aware of the crash, a helicopter with the driver arrived, but was found dead at Layla Hospital.

Last week, British motorcyclist Sam Sunderland retired injured after suffering a back and shoulder injury on stage five.

30-year-old Sunderland was the only Brit to win a class on a bike in the 42-year history of the 2017 Dakar Rally.