Sam Sunderland has increased his overall lead in the 2019 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge with a win on the long third stage of the rally ahead of Kevin Benavides and Aaron Mare.
Marking the halfway point of the event, stage three of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge offered riders a long, 297.97 kilometre timed special that would once again test both endurance and navigational skills. Despite an early morning start, competitors also had to face rising temperatures as the day progressed, adding to the challenge of the rally.
As the fifth rider away, Sam Sunderland immediately set about chasing down the riders ahead. The experienced rally racer navigated superbly through the dunes, eventually catching the group and ultimately reaching the finish together. Posting a time close to three minutes faster than second-placed Kevin Benavides, Sunderland now leads the provisional overall rankings by almost 13 minutes.
‰ÛÏEverything went well today, the weather has been a lot better with less wind, so visibility has improved," Sunderland explained. "I‰Ûªm feeling really good, I am really comfortable on the bike and my pace is solid, the team are doing an excellent job as usual. That‰Ûªs stage three done and we are past the halfway stage, but we still have two long days to go, so I need to stay focused right up to the last kilometre. There are a lot of traps out there and this race can easily catch you out.‰Û