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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7 hrs ago

F1

We stand with all those fighting against racism in any form ... See Less

We stand with all those fighting against racism in any form

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We stand with #F1 do you always have to reminded of true responsibility by the Champ #LewisHamilton Proudly black/colored❤️👌🙏👀

Really F1? And yet they held a Bahrain Grand Prix literally while the locals were protesting and being oppressed. One post created by your PR team while you’ve done nothing for real change seems quite meaningless. Do better.

Hamilton was on the receiving end of racism during the pre season tests at Catalunya in 2008, so he knows what it’s like firsthand. Good job he spoke out, especially with what happened in Minneapolis last week

Took a bit of criticism from your best driver for you to say something about it as a whole. We do this together.

Will F1 really take a stand and not hold events in countries with systemic human rights violations? I doubt it.

So much racism in F1. I can’t wait for the day a person of color drives the best car on the grid, makes the most money, and becomes a multiple world champion... oh wait... never mind 🙄

Whatever..day late..dollar short..only speaking up after prodding from Lewis...PR lip service...

Humans are imperfect and forever will be. I doubt you can oppose and eradicate it. Each and every individual need to decide to not let these evil things from inside to take control of him. Once all the protests are over it will silence down only for it to come back again. How soon another protest will happen doesn't matter. How capable EACH and EVERY human is from getting controlled from the evil within is the real challenge. The lack of self control is the greatest human imperfection.

Nice to finally hear from the American owners of F1. Been left to Lewis to lead the charge again.

Let's be real, had Lewis Hamilton not called them out. They wouldn't have said anything.

You missed the caveat... *yet we’ll still continue to do business & hold races in Russia, China, Bahrain, Vietnam & Abu Dhabi as well as for pushing for a deal with Saudi Arabia. Because human rights & oppression doesn’t bother us when there’s $ to be made.

What about all of the roits, and looting. Nothing will be said about it? People’s businesses ruined by this. But nothing will be said about it?

Seems like a miscalculated PR stunt to me. I don't think F1 has any business talking about anything other than racing, considering that F1 races are regularly held in countries with questionable-at-best records in human rights and equality. Also, what does the tragic failure of American politics and law enforcement have to do with racing? This is all rather disappointing, but what can you expect from an American-owned series.

Let's fight against police brutality also! Why none entity can write it explicitly?

We have to fight against this racism together. And also against the police brutality.

Should have done this before Lewis accused the whole paddock of racism

Lewis Hamilton is the voice of F1

We are all one, we stand together as one. Respect to all. No matter the colour of your skin, region or beliefs. We are all one. ❤🌏

What is this about?

I hope this isn't supporting the beating of innocent people and the burning/looting of innocent peoples businesses!

they're not gonna buy tickets or subscriptions, bro.

This is the first time F1 has a “political” view on things. Next: terminate the contracts with China?

This is better I can support this message forever !!! Every other company charity and celebrity that are jumping on the band wagon can just do one ! Well done F1

Why do people get so angry when people try to say something good?

Looks as though LH got his way...whining works

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8 hrs ago

MotoGP

A #MotoGP legend returned to claim victory while new names stepped up in #Moto2 and #Moto3! 🙌

Enjoy the highlights from the #VirtualBritishGP! 🇬🇧
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9 hrs ago

MotoGP

3⃣0⃣ questions ⁉️ in 6⃣0⃣ seconds!⏱️

Find out more about Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS8038">#Mike Di Meglio Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Mike Di Meglio! ⬇️
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10 hrs ago

MotoGP

Shoulder barging, late braking and (in some cases) a total disregard for track limits! 😂

The #VirtualBritishGP re-wrote the rule book on overtaking! 🎮
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Hopefully some real action soon 🙏

MotoGP game is not at the level of the F1 . Why?

Terrible physics engine lol awful game

for 2020 the graphics and gameplay are pretty shit I have to say

Hahaha exceed track limits big time. Its not off-roading hahaha xxx

If there will be any races this year I bet you Spain only

Ride is much more realistic this looks piss poor

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Fabio still can’t find a way to win 😂😂😂

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Carsten Lauerer das ist ja im Vergleich zu deiner Fahrweise absolut aus dem Lehrbuch... brenn

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11 hrs ago

24H Series

The Hankook 24H PORTIMAO will be broadcast live on our Youtube and Facebook channel. 💥

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📅 12,13 & 14 June

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The Hankook 24H PORTIMAO will be broadcast live on our Youtube and Facebook channel. 💥

With the smallest possible team, we will make as much exciting TV as possible! 🎥 

Large parts of the race will be broadcast so that everyone can enjoy racing! 🏎️💨

Are you going to watch after waiting for so long? 😀

📅 12,13 & 14 June 

#thisisendurance #24HSERIES #24HSERIES2020 #motorsport #24HPORTIMAO #racing

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Definitely will be watching!

I m go there to see in live 🤗😁

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