Mail Online reports: “The organisers received an alert at 10:08 and dispatched a medical helicopter that reached the biker at 10:16 and found him unconscious after going into cardiac arrest,” organisers said in a statement.
“The entire Dakar caravan would like to extend its sincere condolences to his friends and family,” the report said.
“Goncalves was the first competitor to die in the gruelling endurance event since Polish motorcycle rider Michal Hernik in Argentina in 2015.
“The Portuguese finished in the top 10 at the Dakar Rally four times and was runner-up in 2015 to Spaniard Marc Coma, who is competing this year as co-driver to double Formula One champion Fernando Alonso.”
According to the report, Goncalves, “who is a Hero Motorsports racer taking part in his 13th Dakar Rally since 2006, suffered fatal injuries after a fall 170miles into Sunday’s special stage from Riyadh to Wadi Al Dawasir”.
“The experienced Portuguese had competed in the Dakar on three continents, from its origins in Africa to South America and this year’s debut in the Middle East.
“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.
“Goncalves crashed out on the fifth stage in Peru last year. Rodrigues broke his back in a Dakar crash two years ago but returned after extensive surgery and was 27th after stage six.
“Sunday’s 546km stage, the longest of the event, was won by Spaniard Joan Barreda with American Ricky Brabec extending his overall lead in the category.
“Spaniard Carlos Sainz, a two-times Dakar winner driving a Mini buggy, took his third stage win of the event in the cars category to extend his lead over Toyota’s reigning champion Nasser Al-Attiyah of Qatar to 10 minutes.
“Mini have now won six of the seven stages.
“Following resuscitation efforts in situ, the competitor was taken by helicopter to Layla Hospital, where he was sadly pronounced dead.”
According to the report: “‘The entire Dakar caravan would like to extend its sincere condolences to his friends and family.
“Goncalves finished in the top 10 at the Dakar Rally four times and was runner-up to Marc Coma in 2015.
“He was 46th overall after the sixth stage on Friday.”