(gbr) 1.79m / 75kg


Cycling, free diving


Red Bull, GasGas, Airoh helmets, Oakley, USWE, Mototransport

2021: 3rd (one stage win)
2020: Ab. Stage 5
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

2021: Rally Kazakhstan (Ab.), Rallye du Maroc (Ab.)
2020: Andalucia Rally (Ab.)
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)


“There are no secrets, just hard work!”

Since he became the first British winner of the Dakar in 2017, Sam Sunderland has been working hard to get back on the top step of the podium. He's come pretty close, too: third in 2019 behind teammates Toby Price and Matthias Walkner, third again in 2021 behind Kevin Benavides and Ricky Brabec. At Dakar 2022, the 32-year-old will be trying to land his second title with a new outfit. After six editions with the Red Bull KTM factory team, he has signed for the official GasGas team, where he'll form an ambitious duo with the up-and-coming Daniel Sanders. Sam started riding at the age of seven after getting a motorbike for Christmas -he almost immediately wrecked it attempting a wheelie- and eventually began competing in motocross events in the UK and beyond. A serious training crash at 16 resulted in a year off the bike and could have ended his professional career before it even began, but at 19 he visited his aunt and uncle in Dubai and fell in love with desert riding. He decided to move to the UAE full time to pursue his new passion while working in a KTM shop. He then burst onto the rally raid scene at the 2011 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, grabbing two stage wins as an amateur. He made his Dakar debut in 2012 before turning pro with Honda and joining KTM in 2014. As well as claiming that historic Dakar victory in 2017, he was crowned FIM world champion in 2019. Sam has been one of the world's top bike riders for many years, and will certainly be among the main contenders on two wheels in Saudi Arabia. He became a father for the first time in 2020 -his partner is Adrien Van Beveren's sister Florence- and while he describes it as “a marathon stage every day of the week”, the arrival of his daughter hasn't blunted his competitive instincts. This year hasn't been easy, with Sam suffering a nasty crash at Rally Kazakhstan and retiring from the Morocco Rally with illness. He has been forced to abandon the Dakar on five occasions due to crashes or mechanicals, but he remains one of the quickest men over the dunes, and he's hungry for that second title with his new team.

“I've won Dakar and I've won the world championship, so at this point in my career a change is quite cool. GasGas is kind of under the KTM umbrella to some extent, so I'll still be working with a lot of the same boys in management and everything. Same work mentality, same everything. I'm really looking forward to it. It's a little refresh, if you like. New kit, new colours, new bike, new teammate. It's cool and it's a challenge to try to be one of the first guys to win Dakar in two different colours. I like Sanders a lot, he's quite young and full of energy. So hopefully some of my experience can help him, and some of his energy can help me maybe! Really looking forward to another Dakar, and really motivated to try to get that win back in the Austrian side. Honda have been putting up a really good fight in the last couple of years, and I think it's about time we got it done again. Every time I've finished Dakar I've been on the podium, but my start-to-finish ratio isn't quite as good! After you've won, you always want to taste that victory again. Third place doesn't quite taste the same. But nonetheless, a Dakar podium is pretty special and something I'm proud of. There are no secrets, just hard work! And having a great team behind you, which is so crucial in the Dakar.”




  • KTM
  • Gas Gas Factory Team
  • Gas Gas Factory Team
  • M_GP_NO

Ranking 2022

All news of S. Sunderland

Reactions - 14/01 10:25 [GMT +3] - Bike

Sam Sunderland: "When you win the Dakar, it's all worth it"

The British biker took his second Dakar title, repeating his 2017 victory and building on his third place last year.


"I honestly can't be happier. This last stage was so difficult and so much stress… A lot of navigation, a lot of tricky notes, a few times a bit confusing and not sure I was going the right way. Phew. Honestly,...

Newsflashes - 14/01 09:48 [GMT +3] - Bike

Sunderland wins the 44th edition of the Dakar

He did it. At 32 years old, Sam Sunderland claimed his second Dakar title five years after his first triumph in 2017. It is a first for GasGas, which recruited him at the eleventh hour last December. It comes as a relief for the Austrians, the constructor behind the red brand, who wrested the crown back from Honda after two years. Pablo Quintanilla took second place...

Newsflashes - 14/01 09:22 [GMT +3] - Bike

Sunderland wraps it up

Sunderland has crossed the finish line after 164 km. The GasGas rider was still in command of the overall at the previous time check (km 120), 4'32" ahead of Quintanilla, who was gaining 5", and Walkner, who still had a 7'14" deficit despite clawing back 45". Sunderland is looking good for the top step of the podium in Jeddah!


Newsflashes - 14/01 09:03 [GMT +3] - Bike

State of affairs at the halfway point

81 km into the special, roughly halfway through the 164 km timed section, Sam Sunderland (GasGas) is sitting in fourth place, 2'16" behind his closest rival in the general standings, Pablo Quintanilla. The Honda rider is leading the special, but the Englishman still has 4'36" to spare in the virtual standings. Matthias Walkner (KTM), fifth at 3 minutes down on Quintanilla, was...

Summary - 13/01 18:38 [GMT +3]

Dakar 2022 - Stage 11 | A recital by Sunderland and Al-Attiyah


The penultimate special on the Dakar won praise from Carlos Sainz who enjoyed his second stage victory on this edition: “camel grass, dunes, navigation, riverbeds and stones… it was a really complete stage and quite difficult to open on”. The loop out from Bisha and back heading due north to enter the Province of Mecca before turning round and...

Reactions - 13/01 13:15 [GMT +3] - Bike

Sam Sunderland: “The race is not done until you pass that chequered flag on the last stage”

Sunderland finished 2nd on the stage for the third time on this edition of the Dakar. He has taken the lead in the general rankings for the sixth time on the eve of the end to the rally.

“It was a really difficult stage again as we expected. There was a lot of navigation for the guys in front. I tried to stay on top of the roadbook. Already,...

Newsflashes - 13/01 12:23 [GMT +3] - Bike

Sunderland regains the lead of the Dakar

At the finishing line on special number 11, Kevin Benavides has achieved the best time, 4'' ahead of Sam Sunderland, 2'26'' in front of Hero’s Joaquim Rodrigues and 4'54'' ahead of Matthias Walkner. Pablo Quintanilla has finished in 6th place, 7'40'' behind the winner, Adrien Van Beveren in 12th place, 21'33'' behind and Joan Barreda in 16th place 25'10'' behind. Toby...

Newsflashes - 13/01 10:47 [GMT +3] - Bike

Sunderland still leads after 214 km

Sam Sunderland still has the best time after 214 km. Matthias Walkner is in 4th place, 4'44'' behind the stage leader and Quintanilla is in 7th place, 7'17'' behind the Englishman. Joan Barreda has dropped down into 15th place, 19'19'' behind Sunderland and VBA is in 17th position, 18'41'' his British brother-in-law. In the virtual general rankings, Sunderland still leads the...

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