Dakar: Sunderland first Brit to lift the crown

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Red Bull KTM racer Sam Sunderland has become the first British racer to win the Dakar Rally since it’s inception in 1979, after successfully holding onto his lead over the final 64km of racing to the race’s finish in Buenos Aires this morning.

Sunderland went into the day enjoying a healthy lead of over half an hour to teammate Matthias Walkner, and rode a steady stage to sixth place to make sure that he came home safe on the short final special stage.

Walkner secured second, never really in doubt from those behind him, but Garard Farres was able to wrestle the final podium spot off Adrien Van Beveren, taking third by only 50 seconds after 32 hours of racing.

An excellent final day sees British malle moto racer Lyndon Poskitt sitting 39th overall and securing second in the unsupported class, while rookie Max Hunt was an impressive 52nd and veteran David Watson came home 84th. Kurt Burroughs was the only Brit not to finish, going out of the race on stage nine.

For an exclusive interview with race winner Sunderland, see Wednesday 18th January’s Motorcycle News.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer