The Catalan rider, who participated in only the second Dakar, crashed during the stage to Al Duwadimi on 8 January. Forty-five-year-old Carles Falcón was immediately airlifted to the nearest hospital, where he received thorough care. Nevertheless, he succumbed to his extensive injuries.

According to the medical report, Falcón suffered a fractured vertebra, five ribs, left wrist and collarbone. But his brain swelling became fatal. The racer’s death was confirmed on social media on Monday, January 15, exactly one week after the accident, by his TwinTrail Racing team.

“Carles left us this Monday. The medical team confirmed that the neurological damage suffered after the accident was not compatible with life,” reads the official statement. “Carles was a smiling and always active person. He passionately enjoyed anything related to motorcycles, racing in the Dakar was his dream. He was happy on his motorcycle, so we should remember him for his smile and the happiness he brought to everyone.”

Falcón trained as a computer engineer, but he always gravitated towards single-track machines. He became a motorcycle riding instructor, later expanding his skills to become a motorcycle tour guide. “Many people improved by his side. He taught them with maximum patience, energy and a positive attitude,” add people who were closest to the competitor.

Death as if it were an inherent part of the dangerous Dakar. Although statistics on deaths since 1979 vary, around eighty people have lost their lives during the demanding competition. Falcón is the twenty-eighth victim among the competitors, the long list also includes journalists, accompanying members, but also fans. The last one was an unruly supporter from Italy, who stood directly in the path of Aleš Lopraise’s truck last year.