Sam Sunderland’s road to recovery, as he joins the XDubai family
MEDIA RELEASE – SAM SUNDERLAND MAKES A MIRACULOUS RECOVERY IN THE LEAD UP TO THE ABU DHABI DESERT CHALLENGE
Dubai-based British rally star Sam Sunderland will make his return to racing at the opening round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship to be held in Abu Dhabi, April 1-7.
Sunderland, a KTM factory rider, broke his femur while leading the Merzouga Rally in Morocco last October. The accident forced the inform Brit to sit out the 2016 Dakar Rally and focus on rehabilitation with the state-of-the-art training facility Nad Al Sheba Health Club in Dubai.
“After my accident I spoke to XDUBAI and they came up with the offer for me to have private access to the Nad Al Sheba Health Club,” says Sunderland. “I wanted so badly to have access to this training facility to help advance my recovery process. First step was to get me back on the bike as soon as possible and now we will continue building my physique over the coming seasons to become the best I can. I’m so thankful for what XDUBAI has given me.” Sam continues.
With his trainer Ollie Turton he focused on building a physique that will endure the challenges that can arise over a season. Feeling stronger than ever Sunderland is now setting his sights on winning the 2016 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, and more importantly the world’s most challenging off-road event, the Dakar Rally.
“Winning the world championship is one thing I want to achieve this year after finishing second last year, but my main goal is being ready for the Dakar Rally at the start of 2017. Dakar is like the Olympics of our sport, and it’s the biggest race with the toughest stages so that’s the one everyone is aiming for and I will build towards that throughout the year. I just want to be in the best possible shape when the rally starts,” says Sunderland.
“We are all about making sure that we can give unconditional support to our athletes, may it be through our facilities or other ways to fulfill their dreams.” Says Ismaeil Alhashmi, Managing Director of XDubai.
The road to Dakar is long, and the rally is considered the most physically and mentally draining of all off-road motorcycle races. Sunderland watched the last one from his couch, and understands the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is just the first step towards achieving his ultimate goal of winning the Dakar Rally.
“It was hard to sit back and watch Dakar, especially after winning the Morocco Rally earlier in the year where all the main competition were racing,” he reveals. “But I’ll take what I can from this injury and focus on being safe in the lead up to Dakar 2017.”
Sunderland is looking forward to kicking his year off at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge in April and going one place better than last year where he finished runner-up to the great Marc Coma.
In the attached video link Sam Sunderland talks about his recovery process and first ride back on his factory KTM rally machine. Follow his progress throughout the year on the social media links below.
Still Footage ( Photo Credit: @WayneGreyPhoto )