" "
Sam Sunderland Crashes out of Dakar 2020 on stage 5

Sam Sunderland goes out of the 2020 Dakar Rally after a high speed crash on stage five.


Updated 12:40pm

2017 Dakar winner, Sam Sunderland is forced to retire after suffering a severe fall at kilometre 187 of the fifth stage. 

Sunderland, who was penalized for speeding at stage four, was sitting sixth in the overall ranking. With a good starting position for today’s stage the Englishman began pushing to cut Brabec’s advantage on the overall times and was running second when the crash occured. 

Posting on his own social media feed this afternoon, Sunderland said:

“The pain of a crash is nothing compared to the pain of disappointment, unfortunately my race is over after a crash today at kilometre 180. 

While fighting for the stage win and feeling like everything was under control, I caught a camel grass mound awkwardly putting the bike sideways into the next one and a few 🤸🏻‍♂️🤸🏻‍♂️ later I have 5 broken vertebrae and a shoulder blade but luckily no surgery is required and should be right again soon! 

“I want to thank my team for building me the best bike I could ever wish for and for everyone around who help out during the good and the bad moments. Good luck to my teammates for the rest of the race, put an orange one on the top step! 

“Thank you all for your words of support during the race they help a lot! 💪🏻👊🏻 Also I want to thank Johnny Aubert for stopping to help me when I was crashed 👊🏻”

It’s not the first time we have seen the Briton crashing out of Dakar. In his victory defending year, 2018, he was forced to retire on stage four while leading the race. That retirement was also through a back injury, though it was sustained after a heavy compression on landing not a crash. 

Sunderland joins his friend Adrien Van Beveren and Xavier de Soultrait as three of the big names to go out of the rally so far. 

Get well soon all.

Photo Credit: Rally Zone
igor aguada bio resized
Igor Aguado
Enduro21 Junior Editor