Spanish motorcycle rider Carles Falcon dies after Dakar Rally crash in Saudi Arabia

Jan 15 — Spanish motorcycle rider Carles Falcon has died more than a week after crashing in the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia, his team said on Monday.

Falcon, 45, had been in an induced coma since he was flown to hospital with severe injuries from a fall during the second stage on Jan. 7.

Race director David Castera told reporters at the time that the rider, who was competing in the endurance event for the second time, had lacked a pulse but was resuscitated by the first doctor to arrive on the scene.

“Carles has left us. The medical team has confirmed that the neurological damage caused by the cardiorespiratory arrest at the time of the accident is irreversible,” the TwinTrail Racing team said in a statement on Instagram.

“Carles was a smiling person, always active, who passionately enjoyed everything he did, especially motorbikes. He has left us doing something that was his dream, racing the Dakar.”

The 46th edition of the rally, held in Saudi Arabia for the fifth time, features a prologue and 12 stages spread out over 4,903 miles from Alula in the north to Yanbu on the Red Sea.

The rally began in 1978 as a race from Paris across the Sahara to the Senegalese capital of Dakar, but switched to South America in 2009 for security reasons. It moved to Saudi Arabia in 2020 and is now the flagship of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile world rally-raid championship.

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