BRITISH Dakar winner Sam Sunderland has been honoured by the Guild of Motoring Writers (GoMW), who named him their ‘Rider of the Year’.
Sunderland, who in January this year became the first British rider to win the extreme Dakar Rally, was awarded the trophy by Guild chairman Andrew Noakes and British Racing Drivers’ Club President Paddy Hopkirk at the GoMW awards ceremony last Thursday, November 30.
The 27-year-old joins a long line of motorcycling talent to receive the accolade. Previous winners include: Valentino Rossi, James Toseland, Carl Fogarty, James Whitham, Wayne Gardner, Barry Sheene, Phil Read, Sammy Miller, Douglas Lampkin and in recent years Cal Crutchlow, Leon Haslam, Tom Sykes, Chaz Davies, Danny Kent, Tai Woffinden and Jonathan Rea. Sunderland is the first rally raid rider to take the trophy.
The judges said: 'Sam’s unique achievement in becoming the first Briton to win the Dakar Rally was an accomplishment that could not be overlooked and was richly deserved after overcoming numerous serious injuries over the years in his quest to succeed in one of the world most gruelling motorsport challenges.'
After receiving the award, Sunderland tweeted: ‘[It] Was an honour for me to win this award for rider of the year from @gomw_uk thank you very much!’.
— Sam Sunderland (@Sundersam) 3 December 2017