History repeats itself for Sunderland

History repeats itself for Sunderland

Double winner of the event, Sam Sunderland (GasGas) will not win a third Dakar this year. Victim of a mechanical problem, the Briton had to dismount this Monday during the 3rd stage, a year after having had to throw in the towel after a fall in the 1st stage.

There was a time when the Dakar seemed to bring luck to Sam Sunderland. This era seems to have definitely passed. This new edition has barely launched, the Briton is already no longer in the race. The double winner of the event was forced to retire this Monday during the 3rd stage due to a mechanical problem. Sixth in the general motorcycle classification on Sunday evening at the end of the 2nd stage, Sunderland had to stop after only eleven kilometers of the day’s special, between Al-Duwadimi and Al-Salamiya (400 kilometers).

For three hours, the first representative of his country to have registered his name on the list of winners of the most famous rally-raid in the world hoped that a vehicle would come to his aid by bringing him oil. Which could have allowed Sunderland to get back on the road and racing. Unfortunately for the hero of the 2017 and 2022 editions, he never saw anyone coming and therefore had to resolve to throw in the towel, not without having waited for more than three and a half hours in the hope of life-saving help he expected.

Sunderland had already been hit by bad luck in 2023

A year after leaving the Dakar in the first stage due to a violent fall this time (Editor’s note: the Briton suffered a broken shoulder and a concussion) while he was the outgoing winner, the rider who would compete once again this year under the colors of the Spanish team GasGas with whom he had won two years earlier – on the other hand, in 2017, it was on the handlebars of a KTM that he had signed his first success on the rally – therefore ends prematurely again. Sunderland, also forced to abandon in 2018 (while defending their title), was nevertheless one of the favorites for the final victory. For the second year, bad luck struck the two-time British winner, whose victory ambitions once again vanished into the dust of the Saudi sand.

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