The 2017 Dakar Rally, an edition that delivered its share of drama was finally settled on Saturday when Red Bull KTM factory riders, Britain‰Ûªs Sam Sunderland and Austrian teammate Matthias Walkner crossed the line 6th and 4th respectively to give the Austrian brand its 16th consecutive victory and the runner-up spot.
Determined to give Yamaha a place on the final podium at the Dakar Rally 2017, Adrien Van Beveren put in a committed final stage performance to claim an impressive stage victory. Spain‰Ûªs Gerard Farres Guell finished the final stage in second, this being enough to give the Spaniard third overall and make it a complete podium for KTM. Honda's Joan Barreda rounded out the top three.
Sam Sunderland and Matthias Walkner not only succeeded in taking the top two spots, but also to both completed the rally for the first time. Both had retired injured in earlier editions.
Sunderland went into the final swift 64 km timed special with 33-minute advantage on his KTM 450 RALLY and the task of holding his nerve and getting the job done. He completed the stage in a comfortable sixth place and sacrificed only a couple of minutes. After almost 9,000 km through Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina, he topped the overall timesheets with a total time of 32:06.22 hours.