Spanish motorbike rider Carles Falcón has died from injuries he sustained in a crash while competing at the Dakar Rally more than a week ago, race organizers announced on Monday. He was 45.
“It was with great sadness that we learned of the death of Spanish rider Carles Falcon from his family,” Dakar Rally organizers said in a statement on X, formerly Twitter.
The statement added: “The Dakar Rally organizers and competitors offer their most sincere condolences to his family and friends.”
Falcón was 448 kilometers (278.37 miles) into the second stage of the iconic race in Saudi Arabia when he crashed and was airlifted to hospital for urgent medical care.
His Twin Trail Racing team wrote on Instagram on Monday: “Carles has left us. The medical team has confirmed that the neurological damage caused by the cardiorespiratory attack at the moment of the accident is irreversible.”
Following the crash, Twin Trail said that the Spaniard was “unconscious and without a pulse” following the incident but had been resuscitated by doctors.
After being airlifted to a hospital in Al Duwadimi and then transferred to a hospital in Riyadh, Falcón was repatriated to Spain, according to race organizers.
Born in the Spanish city of Tarragona, Falcón was “surrounded by motorbikes” throughout his life, Twin Trail’s online profile of the rider said. He was previously a finisher at the Dakar Rally in 2022.
“Carles was a smiley person, always active, who enjoyed with a passion everything that he did, especially on motorbikes,” Twin Trail added in its Instagram post.
“He has left us doing something which was his dream, racing in the Dakar. He was enjoying it, he was happy on top of his bike. We should remember him for his smile and for the happiness he generated in others.”
Falcón worked as an IT engineer and was also a motorbike instructor and tour guide in his spare time.
“There are many who have learned by his side,” said Twin Trail.
“He taught with patience, energy and happiness; he made everyone enjoy motorbikes. This is what he has left us and we will always keep within ourselves, all of us who have been close to him, family, friends, teammates and fans.
“From his family and the team, we please ask that you respect the privacy of the farewell events that will be held in the coming days.”
The Dakar Rally is one of the world’s longest and most demanding endurance races and this year covers 7,891 kilometers (more than 4,900 miles) from AlUla to Yanbu in Saudi Arabia, concluding on January 19.
CNN’s Patrick Sung contributed to reporting.
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