British rider Sam Sunderland is reported to be out of the 2014 Dakar having suffered an engine failure before the start of today’s timed Special Stage.
If correct it’s a tragic end to Sunderland’s Dakar dreams with the 24-year-old factory Honda rider winning stage two of the event on Monday – the first time a British rider has won a stage of the Dakar since the late John Deacon in 1999.
Although his withdrawal is yet to be confirmed by the team, at time of writing Sunderland is not listed as a starter on the stage while the top men are now over 3.5 hours into the stage and approaching the finish.
The only possibility of Sunderland remaining in the race is if his team can locate where he is and resolve the problem.
Under Dakar rules, riders are not allowed to receive assistance while in a Special Stage, but can receive help on liaison stages which Sunderland is believed to still be on.
More information as we have it.