Dakar/Meet the riders: Paulo Goncalves

Paulo Gonçalves © DR

Who is Paulo Gonçalves?
Paulo ‘Speedy’ Goncalves is a veteran with a very lengthy off-road honours list including victory in the 2013 Cross-Country Rallies World Championship and runner-up spot in the Dakar 2015.

His pace, his skill to adapt to terrain types and his capacity to analyse stages are just some of the abilities of this multi-faceted rider, who has developed greatly with experience.

Goncalve’s Dakar debut took place in 2009, collecting his first stage victory two years later. Both positive thinking and easy-going, the Portuguese rider never stopped believing in his abilities and went on to win the Cross-Country Rallies World Championship in 2013, closing the year with triumphs in an intense Sertoes Rally and a thriller in Morocco.

An unfortunate fifth stage put an end to his dreams of victory in the Dakar 2014 and in spite of conceding the world title the Portuguese rider fought a gutsy battle until the end. Speedy made up for his misfortune by storming to a second place overall finish in the 2015 Dakar. Meanwhile, he took the bronze medal in the 2015 World Championship with podiums in Qatar and Morocco. He also won the Argentinean Desaf