For the first time in Dakar’s 40 year history a British Rider will leave the start podium in Peru adorning the No.1 plate. Less than 12 months ago 28 year old Brit Sam Sunderland became the first British rider ever to win Dakar and he’ll be gunning for glory once again when the race kicks off of 6th January.
Sunderland rides for the dominant factory Red Bull KTM Factory Team and having previously shown he has the speed to win stages, did everything right in Dakar 17 to build a lead and then maintain it – illustrating his new calmer and more measured approach to the race.
Since his Dakar victory, Sunderland fought for the FIM Cross Country championship, missing out on potential victory in the final round when he drowned his bike in a river crossing.
Sunderland eats, sleeps and breaths Dakar and in recent weeks he has been conducting intensive testing in Morocco onboard KTM’s all new factory Dakar bike alongside his team-mates.
Sunderland has the speed, aptitude and dedication to win again, but he faces extreme competition in a race which by its very nature is impossible to predict.
Team: Red Bull KTM Factory Team
Best stage result: 1st (2014, 2015, 2017)
Best overall result: 1st (2017)