‘Good Samaritan’ Sunderland rewarded with Dakar victory

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'Good Samaritan' Sunderland rewarded with Dakar victory
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AFP/File / FRANCK FIFE
Sand man Sam: British biker Sam Sunderland in motion on his KTM

British motorcyclist Sam Sunderland was Friday promoted to fifth stage winner on the Dakar Rally after sportingly stopping mid-race to assist a fellow rider who had fallen and suffered a head damage.

Frenchman Xavier de Soultrait, on a Yamaha, had been the primary throughout the road on the run from Moquegua to Arequipa whereas Sunderland, on a KTM, completed down in 14th place, 7min 29sec behind.

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Nevertheless, the 29-year-old 2017 Dakar champion misplaced greater than 10 minutes when he gallantly stopped racing to come back to assistance from Portugal’s Honda rider Paulo Goncalves who was injured in a fall after 155km of the stage.

Goncalves suffered a head damage and a damaged proper hand, forcing him into the fifth retirement of his Dakar profession.

Organisers stated stewards determined at hand Sunderland again the 10 minutes he spent on the Portuguese rider’s aspect, thus making him the stage winner by a margin of 3min 23sec.

Within the general standings, America’s Ricky Brabec, on a Honda, leads Sunderland by 59sec with Chile’s Pablo Quintanilla, driving a Husqvarna, at 2min 52sec again because the occasion heads right into a relaxation day on Saturday.

“It was a mass begin day and there was not a lot to win or lose, however it was unlucky for Goncalves and I ended with him,” stated Sunderland.

“I ended for a very long time with him, possibly ten minutes, I am unsure.

“Then I used to be again with all the opposite guys within the mud. I did not have any reference of how a lot time I used to be dropping, so I used to be considering that my race was going downhill.”

On the 714km marathon auto race Friday, nine-time world rally champion Sebastien Loeb claimed the honours in a personal entry Peugeot for his second stage win of this yr’s version.

Loeb completed greater than 10 minutes in entrance of two-time Dakar champion and in a single day chief Nasser al-Attiyah of Qatar in a Toyota and 24min 04sec forward of Spain’s Nani Roma in a Mini.

“It was a fantastic stage and we attacked strongly,” stated Loeb who had endured three punctures on Thursday’s fourth stage.

Al-Attiyah shrugged off Loeb’s efficiency.

“Sebastien had nothing to lose, he needed to push to climb again into the time charts,” he stated.

“So far as I am involved, I feel (13-time winner) Stephane Peterhansel is the dangerman.”

Nevertheless, Peterhansel is now 24 minutes behind al-Attiyah within the title race after a fourth-place end on Friday, 26 minutes again from Loeb and 16 off his Qatari rival.

It was a disastrous day for Peterhansel whose automotive turned ensnared in binding ‘fesh fesh’ dune grass and needed to be towed out by Roma.



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