Brit Sam Sunderland claims first Dakar stage win

Sam Sunderland claimed his first Dakar stage win.

BRITISH rider Sam Sunderland has notched up his first Dakar Rally stage win.

Riding for Team HRC, he took the first spot in the rally’s second special stage.

This stage of the Rally Dakar saw the riders travel from San Luís to San Rafael, taking in a total of 354km against the clock, and including a range of diverse terrain types; hard ground, rocks and even some 70km of navigation through the challenging dunes of Nihuil.

What a stage victory it was for Sam Sunderland too, who seemed particularly at ease, especially in the second half of the day, when he was able to prove his deft handling skills in the dunes.

The result marks back to back stage wins for TEAM HRC and the CRF450 RALLY and puts Sunderland up into third overall position, behind team-mate Joan Barreda who leads the overall classification, having taken victory in the rally’s first stage.

After the stage, Sam Sunderland said: “I’m really happy. The bike was fantastic, it’s been a great day with a mixture of different terrains, speed and technical zones.

“We got to the dunes which I get on really well with. It wasn’t a really long stretch, but it went well. I crossed the river which was deeper than I had expected, which got a few laughs out of the folk. But I’m really pleased for my first Dakar victory and to continue Honda’s winning streak.”