Sam Sunderland takes overall lead at Dakar Rally after winning second stage

Sport360 staff 21:10 08/01/2018
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Sam Sunderland is in the lead at the Dakar Rally.

Defending champion Sam Sunderland rode his KTM motorbike to a second stage victory from three at the Dakar Rally on Monday, run on dirt and sand tracks through imposing Peruvian canyons between Pisco and San Juan de Marcona.

The 28-year-old Briton known as Super Sam to his fans covered the course in 3hr 20min 43sec, more than three minutes ahead of his two closest rivals — Honda’s Argentine Kevin Benavides and his fellow KTM rider Toby Price of Australia.

The feat saw the Briton climb top of the overall standings, Sunday’s stage winner Joan Barreda of Spain starting well but getting lost.

Barreda came in 30 minutes off Sunderland’s mark after taking a short cut and got lost only to lose even more time by doubling back too far when missing a waypost in the sand dunes.

Meanwhile, Emirati rider Mohammed Al Balooshi gained 40 positions on day two, moving up to 36th in the overall ranking after the second stage.

He said: “It wasn’t easy. I kept my focus and kept telling myself to finish. It was quite heavy. It was a difficult day with lots of accidents. I’m very happy my bike is in good condition.”

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