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  • 10 Mar 2022

Peterhansel Claims Record Victory In Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge As Sunderland Lands Third Bikes Title

Stephane Peterhansel underlined his place in the record books of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge with an assured drive to victory today as Sam Sunderland saved his best until last to secure a third bikes title in the event.

While the 209km Abu Dhabi Sports Council Stage 5 had the potential to repeat some of the final day dramas of previous years, cool heads ensured that Peterhansel and Sunderland arrived safely to the finish at Yas Marina Circuit, after a demanding five-day passage through the Al Dhafra dunes.

Partnered by Edouard Boulanger in his Audi RS Q e-tron, the Frenchman secured his record-breaking seventh cars title in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, with a winning margin of 29 mins 49 secs from the 2018 winner, Czech Martin Prokop, accompanied by Viktor Chytka in a Ford Raptor.

Sunderland, who started the last day with a fragile 23-seconds advantage on his GasGas, showed how the best riders handle pressure. He pulled away to win by 3 mins 8secs from American Ricky Brabec, whose Honda team-mate, Chilean Pablo Quintanilla, was another 48 secs away in third place.

Giving the host country a title win to celebrate for a second Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge in four months, Emirati rider Abdulaziz Ahli on a Yamaha Raptor retained his quads crown with a massive 2 hrs 5 mins to spare over Slovakia’s Juraj Varga.

The rally’s toughness this week has seen many of the leading challengers for the drivers’ crown fall from contention, none more so than Nasser Al Attiyah, whose hopes of a fourth win were ended by a broken wheel on the first leg.

The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge took place under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler's Representative in Al Dhafra Region.

The rally’s strategic partners are the Ruler's Representative Court Al Dhafra Region, the Ministry of Defence, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, ADNOC Distribution, Al-Futtaim Toyota, Abu Dhabi Police, Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi Aviation, National Ambulance, Abu Dhabi Municipality, Abu Dhabi Distribution Co., Al Dhafra Region Municipality, Al-Ain Water, Abu Dhabi Sports TV, Civil Defence and the Abu Dhabi Waste Management Center.