SAM SUNDERLAND(gbr) 1.79m / 70kg
Cycling, free diving
KTM, Red Bull, Bell helmets, Oakley, USWE
2019: 3rd (two stage wins)
2018: Ab. Stage 4 (two stage wins)
2017: 1st (one stage win)
2015: Ab. Stage 4 (one stage win)
2014: Ab. Stage 4 (one stage win)
2012: Ab. Stage 3
2019: FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship (1st): Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (1st), Silk Way Rally (1st), Atamaca Rally (2nd), Rallye du Maroc (Ab.)
2018: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (2nd), Atacama Rally (Ab.), Rallye du Maroc (9th)
2017: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (1st), Qatar Cross-Country Rally (1st), Atacama Rally (4th), Desafio Ruta 40 (10th), OiLibya Rally of Morocco (Ab.)
2016: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (2nd), Qatar Cross-Country Rally (1st), OiLibya Rally of Morocco (2nd)
2015: OiLibya Rally of Morocco (1st)
2014: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (Ab.), Qatar Cross-Country Rally (Ab.), OiLibya Rally of Morocco (2nd), Rally Dos Sertoes (6th)
2013: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (3rd), OiLibya Rally of Morocco (5th), Merzouga Rally (1st)
2012: OiLibya Rally of Morocco (10th), Sardinia Rally (13th)
2011: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (Ab., two stage wins), Australasian Safari (Ab., three stage wins)
"You need to be perfect and then some to win the Dakar."
The first-ever British winner of the Dakar, Red Bull KTM star Sam Sunderland knows exactly what it takes to conquer the world's toughest rally. The 30-year-old has suffered abandons in four of his six participations to date (mechanical issues in 2012 and 2014, crashes in 2015 and 2018), but that didn't stop him making history when he finished in top spot ahead of teammate Matthias Walker in 2017. Part of an unstoppable triumvirate with Matthias and reigning champion Toby Price -the KTM trio have won the last four editions of the Dakar- Sam goes into this first rally in Saudi Arabia on red-hot form, having triumphed at this year's FIM Cross-Country Rallies world championship. With victories at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge and the Silk Way Rally and a second place at the Atacama Rally, he finally secured his maiden world crown, after finishing as the runner-up in 2015 and 2016. Having moved to Dubai as a teenager, the Southampton native soon emerged as one of the best desert riders on the planet, and he will be relishing the prospect of getting stuck into the Saudi Arabian sands. Now based in Andorra, Sam is always one of the big favourites in the bikes, even if his chances of victory last year were scuppered by a detached brake disc. After recovering from minor elbow and leg injuries sustained at the Rallye du Maroc, he is ready for another tilt at Dakar glory.
"I'm really happy to have won the world championships, to get it done for the team. I'd come second twice -first loser mate- so it was a bit frustrating. It's always hard to get a whole season put together without any mistakes. Luckily the bike's always strong, I've never had any mechanical issues. One Dakar in the pocket, one world championship in the pocket, it feels good. But I want to get another Dakar for sure. Me, Matthias and Toby are all going for it. Toby won it in the most manly way possible last year. I feel good, confident. You need to be perfect and then some to win the Dakar. Everything has to run well -build-up, training work, bike, mechanics, team. We'll just try to not rip our disc off this time! I'm really looking forward to it man. You have to adapt to all these changes: terrain, mentalities, even the food. It's something I love about rally. I think at least the southern part of Saudi Arabia is similar to what I'm used to in Dubai. So a couple of days in the second week will be familiar. I think it's really good. The original spirit of the Dakar was more about the adventure side. I think we've kind of discovered South America, lots of different countries. The images we've seen from Saudi have got everyone excited. It'll be quite a cool experience on the adventure side and on the race side, a bit of a clean slate for everyone. I've maybe got two days in the south I can reference to Dubai, but for the most part I haven't got a bloody clue! I think everyone's going to be shocked at the variety of terrain. Everyone's in the same boat, everyone's going to have to deal with it. I like that, it's a level playing field in some ways."
RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM
- Mark : KTM
- Model : 450 RALLY REPLICA
- Performance tuner : Red Bull KTM Factory Team
- Assistance : Red Bull KTM Factory Team
- Class : G1.1 A.S.O. Elites
All news of S. Sunderland
Sunderland falls and exits the race!
Another dramatic development on the Dakar 2020: after Adrien Van Beveren and Xavier de Soultrait, it is now Sam Sunderland’s turn to drop out of the rally following a severe fall after 187 km of the special. The Englishman, who won the Dakar in 2017, has injured his back and left shoulder.
Sunderland penalised —Cornejo takes the win!
Sam Sunderland has been slapped with a 5-minute penalty for speeding, pushing him down to eighth place in the stage. Ignacio Cornejo has taken his first ever Dakar stage win after all!
"It's like a big adventure each day"
Sam Sunderland bounced back from yesterday's uninspired performance around Neom by pipping Cornejo and Benavides (Honda) at the line to take stage 4.
"It was really difficult at first because I had a lost of dust from the guys in front, but after I passed through them I could open up a bit and get some clean air and push. I tried to keep a good rhythm until the end,...
Sunderland pips Cornejo at the line!
Sam Sunderland turned on the afterburners in the final kilometres to snatch victory from José Ignacio Cornejo at the very last minute. The British rider has won the stage by a mere 11 seconds, with Kevin Benavides just 46 seconds back after 453 km going full gas!
Quintanilla and Sunderland trail by more than 20 minutes
Pablo Quintanilla and Sam Sunderland have lost plenty of time. As they approach the final part of the special, the Chilean and Englishman are respectively 21 and 22 minutes behind the stage leader!
Sunderland 10 minutes behind
It looks like being a difficult day for Sam Sunderland. This morning’s general standings leader could lose his position after completing 251 km 10 minutes behind Ricky Brabec.
Sam Sunderland: “We have to try and take care of the bike”
Second on the first part of the Super Marathon stage, Sam Sunderland took advantage of Toby Price’s mishaps to take control of the general standings.
“It’s the Super Marathon stage, so we have to try and take care of the bike the best we can. I used the rear brake quite a lot today and I just wanted to change the pads just to be safe for tomorrow. It...
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