MCN Se­nior Re­porter Jor­dan Gib­bons was on the ground dur­ing the heat of Bat­tle

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport -

If I am com­pletely hon­est, I didn’t ex­pect Sam Sun­der­land to win. I didn’t even ex­pect him to make it to the rest day, con­sid­er­ing this is the first Dakar he hasn’t crashed out of be­fore Stage 4, but there is no doubt­ing that Sun­der­land is a wor­thy cham­pion. Tak­ing the time to speak to me in the blaz­ing heat, while still sat­u­rated with frus­tra­tion from los­ing 15 min­utes with a nav­i­ga­tion er­ror, he ad­mit­ted that this was the year he was ton­ing down his ag­gres­sive style and it was a clear sign he had ma­tured. Sure enough just one day later, this time in the freez­ing rain, he was ef­fer­ves­cent after tak­ing a lead he would hold to the end.

I also want to con­grat­u­late the rook­ies: Kurt Bur­roughs, Max Hunt and David Wat­son on fin­ish­ing the Dakar at their first at­tempt. Lastly, a se­ri­ous round of ap­plause to Lyn­don Poskitt who came sec­ond in Malle Moto, while rac­ing with noth­ing but a tool­box for com­pany.

Now 27, Sam’s ma­tu­rity has helped him win

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