It was a KTM 1-2 at the Dakar Rally 2017 with the top two places going to Red Bull KTM factory riders Sam Sunderland of Great Britain and Matthias Walkner of Austria. Third place went to Spaniard Gerard Farres Guell, also riding a KTM.
This is the 16th time in a row that KTM has won this gruelling off-road, multi-stage rally. After racing almost 9,000 km across Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina, Sunderland won the 12-stage rally with a final time of 32:06.22 on his specially prepared KTM 450 Rally.
The 2017 Dakar Rally saw two stage cancellations and also reductions, due to weather conditions and a landslide. The rally – which ran from January 2 to 14 – began in Asuncion, Paraguay, and went through Bolivia and Argentina before the final special stage from Rio Cuarto to Buenos Aries, Argentina.
Traditionally dominated by European riders, Sunderland is the first British winner of the Dakar rally, in any category. In fourth place overall was Adrien van Beveren of Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team, riding a Yamaha WR450F.
A mistake made during refuelling in Stage 4 saw Honda’s Joan Barreda and Pablo Gonçalves drop out of contention, coming in fifth and sixth, respectively. Female racer Laia Sanz, riding for KTM Spain, came in sixteenth overall, one spot shy of her goal of finishing in fifteenth place.
In the car category, Peugeot took a 1-2-3 win as well, with the Peugeot 3008 DKR. Driven by Stéphane Peterhansel and co-piloted by Jean-Paul Cottret, the podium was also graced by nine-time WRC champion Sébastien Loeb and five-time bike Dakar winner Cyril Despres, in second and third.