News 16 Jan 2023

Seventh at Dakar an encouraging result for Sanders

Red Bull GasGas team rider on the rise after injury-affected year.

Image: Supplied.

After a second-place finish on the 14th and final stage of the 2023 Dakar Rally resulting in seventh overall, Red Bull GasGas rider Daniel Sanders remains upbeat despite a rollercoaster two weeks in the desert.

Sanders started strong in the early stages of the rally, finding himself towards the pointy-end of the field, leading the race in week one after winning stage three.

A case of food poisoning and a thorn in his right arm would ultimately hinder the Australian throughout the middle stages, subsequently seeing him fall down the order heading into the second half of the rally, but he gained strength with a series of stage podiums in the final days.

“It was going to be difficult today to make up any time, but I did what I could and just missed out on the stage win,” Sanders commented. “Overall, I’m super-happy. It’s been a long road to get here and, after crashing here last year, I’ve had six operations, which really limited my preparation.

“It’s been great to bounce back and be competitive. It’s been an unreal experience and hopefully next year I can come in stronger and fitter and be more ready to go. The team has been amazing as always and I’m super-happy to be here at the finish line in one piece.”

It was a gritty performance from Sanders, who missed the majority of the 2022 season sidelined from a crash at the previous running of the Dakar Rally, which saw him undergo six surgeries after fracturing both his elbow and his wrist in the incident.