2017 Dakar Rally: KTM Conquered All with Sam Sunderland Crowned the first ever British rider to win the rally
Sam Sunderland not only managed to actually finish the rally for the first time but he did so in spectacular fashion by taking the champion’s title as well. This also marks Sunderland as the first ever British rider to ever won the gruelling rally that ranged almost 9,000km from Paraguay all the way to Argentina.
Wh over a 30-minute advantage, it was an emotional win for Sunderland who finished ahead of his team mate, Matthias Walkner with both piloting the KTM 450 Rally bikes. This also marks a momentus victory for the Austrian manufacturer, adding more trophies to their ever growing undisputed championship belt.
“When I crossed the line my emotions really took over. I’ve had a lot of weight on my shoulders for the last six days. Now it feels incredible. I have to say thanks to my team; the bike has been great from start to finish. When Toby (Price) went out of the race, it was a blow to the team, as he’s a good friend. Because of the strong bonds we have in our team it helped us to pull together and strive to do something special. There’s a lot of fast guys that have the potential to win this race; I think cutting out the mistakes was the key to this win.” said Sunderland after crossing the finish line.
Toby Price,the 2016 Dakar Rally winner and Sunderland’s team mate, suffered a major blow after having crashed and broke his leg in several places whilst riding in the fourth rally stage.
The final podium spot was a close battle between Garard Farres and Adrien Van Beveren but Farres managed to cross the finish line about 50 seconds ahead of Van Beveren to complete the podium. A very close gap indeed considering the fact that they’ve been racing for over 32 hours in total.
Congratulations to KTM and all of the winners. To mark this great achievement, KTM has prepared a very special video highlighting the major event that is the 2017 Dakar Rally.