Dubai: Dubai rider Sam Sunderland ready to defend title in Desert Challenge trail

Dubai: Dubai rider Sam Sunderland ready to defend title in Desert Challenge trail

Abu Dhabi, UAE, 23 March, 2019:  When Sam Sunderland sets off in pursuit of a second bikes crown in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge Powered by Nissan, the British rider faces a number of battles over five days in the deserts of the UAE.

 

Taking place under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in Al Dafrah Region, the Desert Challenge is also supported Abu Dhabi Aviation, Abu Dhabi Police, ADNOC, Al Dhafra Region Ruler’s Representative Court, National Ambulance, Nissan, United Arab Emirates Armed Forces and Yas Marina Circuit. The Nissan Patrol is the official car for the event.

 

Sunderland, winner in 2017 shortly after capturing the Dakar Rally title, will be up against the cream of cross country rallying talent in a line-up of 41 riders for the opening round of this year’s FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship.

 

None of them know the demanding terrain better than the KTM star for whom Dubai became his adopted home 10 years ago, and when the rally breaks out in to the Al Dafrah Region on Sunday morning, no-one will be better prepared for the gruelling test ahead.

 

For bike and quad riders, particularly the amateurs sharing the stage with the world’s best, the threat of dehydration is ever present in the desert heat, with many facing the exhausting task of digging themselves free from the soft sand traps along the five-day route from 31 March.

 

“All of our races are in extreme environments and it’s necessary to take care about your fluid and electrolytes, but I think most of the top riders have this under control,” said Sunderland, speaking from the KTM training camp in Morocco.

 

“It’s normally new riders that aren’t used to the heat or exertion for long periods of time that come unstuck. I’m in very good shape, which is important at the start of a new season, of course once you have won the race once it has to be your goal to do it again and that’s what I will be aiming for. We will just have to see how the strategy plays out without a prologue.”

 

Research carried out by the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE, the rally organisers, in conjunction with Al Ain Water has spotlighted the risks, and effects of dehydration.

 

“It’s a very serious threat to both competitors and volunteers working in high temperatures,” said ATCUAE President Mohammed Ben Sulayem, the FIA Vice President for Sport. “Dehydration affects physical and mental performance, and even at low levels can have severe physiological effects. Side effects include poor concentration, co-ordination and reaction time and that can lead to accidents. So keeping competitors and volunteers hydrated is a major priority.”

 

With Al Ain Water stations set up along the five-day rally route, competitors, officials, and the volunteer marshals working out in the desert for hours on end never run short.

 

“This has been our mission for the past 14 years as the official supplier of Al Ain Water,” said Eng. Tariq Ahmed Al Wahedi, CEO, Agthia Group PJSC. “We’re proud of our record in making sure that everyone involved in the rally is properly hydrated throughout the five days.”

 

Runner up last year, Sunderland faces top opposition this time from a succession of factory team stars, including the rider who finished just behind him Argentinian Kevin Benavides and his Honda team-mates Joan Barreda Bort of Spain and Chile’s Jose Cornejo, as well as KTM’s Argentinian rider Luciano Benavides and American Husqvarna contender Andrew Short.

 

“I always tried to ride in the dunes the months before Abu Dhabi and it’s a very specific terrain and requires a different set up and riding technique than the other rallies,” said Sunderland. “We have just finished here in Morocco testing and training for Abu Dhabi.”

 

The Desert Challenge rider line-up has a family flavour, with the Dubai-based Irish father and son combination of David and William McBride trying to outdo each other again after William finished ahead in the recent Dubai International Baja.

 

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54 minutes ago

F1

How cool is this?! 😮😍
Drone footage of the new MCL35 - McLaren 👏👏👏
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Drones are very fast. Especially the ones are custom made can easily catch an F1. Maybe not a full 300kmh but up to 200kmh. All in bling of an eye.

Just highlights how gash that new final complex is at Barcelona They should go back to the original last 2 corners for better opportunities to overtake after the final turn

Been thinking about why not f1 and others have integrated this yet? Helicopter shots are great but this is another necessary dimension.

Really amazing footage, specially at low speed corners at the chicane.. wow !!

A Drone faster than a MCL 🤔 2020 won't be a good year for McLaren..

SUCH a cool shot! I want more of this!!! That poor McLaren was really waiting on the drone though! 😂

I would love to build a copter that can easily keep up with F1 and shoot proper vid. If someone covers the costs that is 😉

Drone shots would be good, but what happens when the signal fails and the drone drops on the track. Or theres a mechanical fault and the drone drops on track. Or the battery runs out and the drone drops on track.

That should be a sport! Drones racing around an F1 circuit. Did you see that cornering?

We need this type of footages live on race days. "Wheel to wheel" battles might look cool from this angles...

How can a drone keep up with an F1 engine? It's the most advanced technology in the history of the planet...comon...

Fantastic, it would be nice if it were broadcast like that. how exciting that sound. Beautiful MacLaren, and that sound, it's really good to hear

More impressed at the skills of the drone pilot 😂

That needs to be how they cover the races on television. That is spectacular and definitely entertaining.

Carlos driving the McLaren...maybe Lando is driving the drone🤔. McLaren's children are still playing, for sure😃

I vote for drone cameras for the starting grid for lights out!

Think the drone was beyond track limits there...

Ive been flying drones over Open Wheelers for 3 years now. Just finished TRS 2020. We've done both live stream and record for post shows.

Is this a preview of "Formula Drone"

This make it looks slow... keep copter view when skyview is needed

Be great if they added this as a live camera on race weekends

Wow! Would be great if they add this view while broadcasting.

How is this drone keeping up with the speed of a F1 car?! 😮🧐

Paint that Halo BLUE!

Is it just me or is does the power unit sound different to last year?

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2 hrs ago

24H Series

VORTEX V8 will be joning us again this season! The French team that build their own cars will be joining multiple races this season. The team will join with their Vortex Light V8's at:

🇮🇹: 1x 12H Monza,
🇵🇹: 1x 24H Portimao,
🇫🇷: 2x 9H Paul Ricard,
🇪🇸: 2x 24H Barcelona and
🇮🇹: 2x 12H Imola

Great news coming from France!

#thisisendurance #24HSERIES #12hmonza #24HPORTIMAO #9hpaulricard #24hbarcelona #12himola #24hseries2020
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VORTEX V8 will be joning us again this season! The French team that build their own cars will be joining multiple races this season. The team will join with their Vortex Light V8s at:

🇮🇹: 1x 12H Monza,
🇵🇹: 1x 24H Portimao,
🇫🇷: 2x 9H Paul Ricard,
🇪🇸: 2x 24H Barcelona and
🇮🇹: 2x 12H Imola

Great news coming from France! 

#thisisendurance #24hseries #12HMONZA #24HPORTIMAO #9HPAULRICARD #24HBARCELONA #12HIMOLA #24HSeries2020

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Great news! This little pretty car is a nice presence in series 👍

2 hrs ago

MotoGP

🇯🇵 Suzuki starts from maiden pole!
💢 Sasaki tangles with Garcia!
🔝 Arbolino edges ahead!

Watch the eventful early exchanges as #Moto3 arrived at Misano in 2019!

#SanMarinoGP 🇸🇲
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Tutondele papa a foto diaku diambote

nice

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