Dutch racer Edwin Straver has died as a result of injuries suffered at the 2020 Dakar Rally.
Straver crashed in Stage 11’s timed special, supposedly at a moderate speed, but his injuries were severe, including a broken neck. Insiders reported Straver’s heart stopped at the scene for about 10 minutes, before he was revived. He was flown to a Saudi Arabian hospital, and admitted to the intensive care unit, then repatriated to the Netherlands this week. Sadly, he has now died of his injuries. News reports say medical staff determined his brain was badly damaged as a result of his injuries, and his family consented to ending life support this week.
Straver was 48 years old, a former motocross racer. This was his third appearance at the Dakar Rally. In 2019, he won the Original By Motul class, which is commonly known as Malle Moto (he was 30th overall in the bike category in 2019, 48th overall in 2018). Malle Moto competitors are not just riders, but also must do their own mechanic work along the way—they’re not helped by any support team, making Straver’s win in this category a significant accomplishment. He was in the same class this year, and looked like he’d finish very well again (fourth in the class at Stage 11 start), before crashing 124 km into the special.
Straver’s death comes after Paulo Goncalves, the well-respected leader of the Hero factory team and former Honda factory rider, died on Stage 7. Straver and Goncalves were the first racers to die at Dakar since Michal Hernik, a Polish motorcyclist, died in 2015. Straver is the 30th Dakar racer to die in the rally’s history.