The 2017 Dakar Rally champion, Sam Sunderland, enjoyed a celebratory touristic ride around London yesterday (Friday 17th February) aboard his ultra-special Red Bull KTM 450 FACTORY RALLY machine.
Sunderland, who hails from Poole in Dorset, is the first British winner of the Dakar Rally in any class and following on from his outstanding victory, the 27-year-old racer took a ride around English capital to take in some of the sights.
It was an unusual spectacle with the Red Bull KTM 450 FACTORY RALLY machine being seen in such a busy city, where many fans took pictures as Sam rode around the likes of Canary Wharf, Westminster, across Tower Bridge and past many of the other famous London vistas.
Sunderland’s victory at the Dakar is an incredible one, especially as just over one year ago the Dubai-based Brit broke his femur, and in fact the 2017 edition of the race was the first time the KTM-ace has completed the event. This year the Dakar was ultra-tough with incredibly difficult navigation and weather conditions, as the riders competed over nearly 9,000km through Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina across 12 stages. Sunderland’s victory is the 16th consecutive win for KTM.
Sam’s London city tour was a special experience for the rally racer, as he’s usually more at home with riverbeds, dunes and desert, but today the KTM-star’s ride was completed when he rode into the MCN London Motorcycle Show at the ExCeL exhibition centre, which was broadcast on Facebook Live. Sam will be spending some time meeting fans and signing autographs over the weekend at the event.
Sam Sunderland – 2017 Dakar Rally winner
“It’s been really cool to come back to London and see some British fans that are so passionate about what I’ve done. It makes me feel excited about it, I really enjoy meeting the fans, as it’s very humbling. Today I got to ride my rally bike around London to do some sightseeing like a tourist, and it was quite special as obviously normally the bike is at races like Dakar, in the desert, or on rough terrain. We certainly got quite a lot of looks from people and photos taken. It was a strange, but really cool day, cruising around over Tower Bridge, by Houses of Parliament and so on. It’s been really fun and great to be at home in the UK.”