The reigning champion, Sam Sunderland, leaves the Dakar after an accident in the first stage

The British Sam Sunderland (GasGas), champion of the 2022 Dakar Rally, had to leave the 2023 edition this Sunday due to an accident at kilometer 52 of the first special of the endurance test.

NewsEditor
NewsEditor
01 January 2023 Sunday 01:33
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The reigning champion, Sam Sunderland, leaves the Dakar after an accident in the first stage

The British Sam Sunderland (GasGas), champion of the 2022 Dakar Rally, had to leave the 2023 edition this Sunday due to an accident at kilometer 52 of the first special of the endurance test.

The double winner of the Dakar (he had also won in 2017) crashed after the first checkpoint, which he had reached as the leader of the stage (22:10) with a ten second advantage over the Chilean Pablo Quintanilla (Honda) and Spanish Joan Barreda (Honda).

At the place where he had an accident, he was treated by the medical team, according to the organization, and, although he was "conscious and fully mobile", due to back pain he was airlifted to Yanbu hospital to undergo additional tests.

The Briton, who was facing his tenth Dakar, repeated what had happened to him in his first defense of the title, in 2018, although then he abandoned it in the fourth stage and after two partial victories.

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