Rallye

Daniel Sanders and Sam Sunderland Return To Action For The 2024 Desafio Ruta 40

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Photo of Rally rider Daniel Sanders
Aussie Daniel Sanders has spent months recuperating from injuries and is looking forward to getting back to competition.

The GasGas duo of Daniel Sanders and Sam Sunderland have spent the months since January’s Dakar Rally training hard and fine-tuning their bikes to prepare for their upcoming visit to Argentina.

Arriving in Argentina fighting fit after a long, four-month break from racing, both Sunderland and Sanders are motivated to secure positive results for the team. The duo last raced back in January at the Dakar Rally, where Daniel secured an eighth-place finish and Sam was forced to withdraw. Last year’s edition of the Desafio Ruta 40 saw both riders sidelined, so the team are raring to bounce back this year.

The event looks like it’s going to be tough, with competitors covering 3,213 kilometres in total and 2,085 of those raced against the clock over challenging Argentinian terrain. Precise navigation is going to be key to reducing mistakes in the dunes and rocky pistes over the prologue and five stages. Both Chucky and Sam are eyeing up podium finishes and will be pushing 100% to get them!

Photo of Rally rider Daniel Sanders and Sam Sunderland
Sam Sunderland (L) and Daniel Sanders.

“Since Dakar, I’ve prioritised healing and had plenty of rest which has done the world of good,” Sanders explained. “I’ve been training on my motocross bike a lot, especially the past month in preparation for Ruta 40. I haven’t been to Argentina since 2014 for the ISDE, so I can’t wait to go back. My goals for the race are really to see where we are at after I’ve spent so much time getting stronger and healthier. I’m interested to see what the terrain will be like and I think navigation will be key to doing well as there’s normally less off-piste riding at this race. I’m looking forward to seeing how the setup changes we have made to the bike work out and hopefully fight for those podium positions. I’m excited to have the adrenaline pumping again and being back in a racing environment with the team.”

Photo of Rally rider Sam Sunderland
Brit Sam Sunderland has been busy testing.

After a lot of positive testing, Sam Sunderland is also primed to get back to racing.

“I’m feeling really good for Argentina!” the Brit said. “The team have been working hard on a new setup and finding improvements wherever possible. Our testing has been really positive and it’s looking good for the race. I’ve been training a lot myself and I feel physically strong after a lot of cycling and motocross which I’ve enjoyed, so I can’t wait to get back to racing. I’m looking forward to getting into race mode again and I think we can bring home a good result in Argentina!”

Andreas Hölzl – Rally Team Manager, added, “We are back racing after a few months break and we spent a lot of time working on the bikes and developing forward as always. Daniel Sanders is back to 100% fitness and looking super-fast. Sam Sunderland is really eager to go racing again. We’re looking forward to heading to Argentina and racing in front of an amazing crowd!”

Photo of Rally rider Daniel Sanders and Sam Sunderland

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