Born on 5th February 1979, in Gemeses, a small parish nearby to Esposende, Gonçalves was a popular figure in the Dakar bivouac. Since making his debut in 2006, he had contested 13 editions of the rally, across its three chapters – Africa, South America and, for the first time this year, Saudi Arabia. Notably, he finished in second place to Marc Coma in the 2015 race.
During his career, the accomplished rider also accumulated 23 titles in motocross, supercross and enduro. In 2013, he won the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, before finishing as runner-up in 2014.
Tributes have poured in from across the motorsport and wider world, with President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, stating that he “died trying to achieve the dream of winning one of the hardest and most dangerous rally events in the world, in the which has always been a worthy representative of Portugal, reaching second place in 2015.”
Competitors and organisers will join together to pay their respects to the fallen rider at tonight’s briefing.