Dakar Champion Sam Sunderland surprises riders at local enduro race

No prizes for guessing where he placed...

LESS THAN A FORTNIGHT after he took third place in the gruelling Dakar Rally, Sam Sunderland has added another trophy to his collection – first place at Portsmouth Motorcycle Racing Club’s annual Mudfest.

Sunderland, who lives in Northern France, was on the way back to the channel tunnel following an appearance at the Bike Shed.

However, when a friend messaged to say there was a race on, the 29-year-old decided to take a detour via the Mudfest.

The 2017 Dakar champion turned up to the small event in Emsworth, Hampshire and signed on, much to the surprise of the 60-odd riders in attendance.

Unsurprisingly, the Red Bull KTM Factory racer finished the most amount of laps (10 to the second place’s 9) in the Hare and Hounds enduro race and took the win.

After the event, a very muddy Sunderland stopped to talk with fans and pose for photos.

When asked by the organisers about the difference between the Peruvian desert and the Woodbery lane site in Emsworth, Sunderland commented: “It’s a bit different eh? There’s a lot of trees for a start and a lot more mud!

“I’ve only got the 450 SX-F, which is a motocross bike, so it was a bit of a strange one to be riding around a forest here!

“But I really enjoyed it, really good organisation, and nice little loop in and out the river and in the woods, a little bit of a mixture of all.”

Photographs: Facebook/Geoff Maunder and Mark Holden Motorcycles

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