(CNN)Portuguese motorbike rider Paulo Gonçalves died Sunday after a crash in the Dakar Rally, a race across Saudi Arabia.
Portuguese motorbike rider dies during race across Saudi Arabia
Gonçalves' fall came 276 kilometers into the day's stage, which took competitors from Riyadh to Wadi Al Dawasir in Saudi Arabia's desert during the two-week race.
Race organizers got an alert at 10:08 a.m. and dispatched a medical helicopter that reached him eight minutes later, the Dakar Rally said. Emergency responders found him unconscious after he went into cardiac arrest, and he was taken by helicopter to Layla Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Competitors Kevin Benavides and Toby Price tried to assist Gonçalves, the Dakar Rally said.
Gonçalves, 40, was racing in his 13th Dakar Rally. He made his debut in 2006 and had finished in the top 10 four times, the Dakar Rally said, including as a runner-up in 2015. This was the first Dakar Rally to take place in Saudi Arabia, which meant a new challenge for every racer.
"It's going to be a big experience for sure," Gonçalves said before the race, according to his online biography. "I think 98% of riders have never raced there before, so it's a big challenge for everybody."