KTM chief says Sunderland felt “numb” after heavy landing
KTM team manager Alex Doringer has revealed the circumstances of the incident that put Dakar Rally bikes frontrunner Sam Sunderland out of the 2018 event.
Last year’s Dakar winner Sunderland, who was leading the event at the time of his crash, landed heavily after a small jump over a ditch.
Although he didn’t fall, he felt immediate back pain and later pushed the emergency button to summon medical assistance.
“Considering the circumstances, his situation is pretty bad,” said Doringer. “At approximately kilometre 230 he landed in a ditch and caught a compression. He immediately felt strong pain in his lower back.
“Nevertheless he rode on, but stopped after a few kilometres and called [race control] PCO for help. In this moment his feet started to feel numb.
“It's difficult to say what's really the situation, but he has problems with his back. He had his first examination at the medical and now he is on his way to [Clinica Anglo Americana] hospital in Lima.
“I talked with him. He said he was in pain, but the doctors have not yet determined what's really the cause. We have to wait and see.”
Sunderland's exit has shaken up the overall classification, with Tuesday's stage winner Adrian van Beveren now holding a slender advantage at the head of the standings.
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