Edwin Straver becomes second 2020 Dakar Rally motorcyclist to die

Edwin Straver becomes the second person to die on the 2020 Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia after succumbing to injuries a week after he crashed

Edwin Straver

Dutch motorcyclist Edwin Straver has succumbed to injuries sustained in an accident during the latter stages of the 2020 Dakar Rally, becoming the second rider to die on this year’s event.

Straver fell on the penultimate stage of the rally – the first to be held in Saudi Arabia – in a relatively low speed tumble of 50km/h. However, the nature of the crash would see his heart stop for 10mins before he was resuscitated and airlifted to hospital, according to reports.

However, just over a week later, Dutch media is reporting he has died from his injuries, which included a broken neck

Straver – competing in his third Dakar Rally - was riding his own privately entered KTM and competed in the ‘Original’ category for entries competing without any outside assistance.

With two stages of the Dakar Rally remaining, Straver was in 38th position overall but fourth best-placed of those competing as an Original entry.

Straver’s death is the second to occur on the Saudi event following Paulo Goncalves on Stage 7. Indeed, Goncalves’ death had even had a profound effect on Straver, who said he was adjusting his performance to compensate and focus on the finish.

“[I’m] taking it easy on dangerous points,” he is reported as saying to Dutch publication AD. “I brake for everything. If I can't see it, I really won't get over it. Everything went well for me, but I saw that this was not the case for everyone. If you don't accept the dangers, you have to stay home.”

Goncalves was the first person to die on the Dakar Rally since 2015, but his and Straver’s death brings the number of motorcyclists to have died on the rally raid to 30.