Defending champion Sam Sunderland navigating his KTM motorbike through a difficult stage. Photo: David Fernandez/BackpagePix

SAN JUAN DE MARCONA – Defending champion Sam Sunderland rode his KTM motorbike to a second stage victory from three at the Dakar Rally on Monday, run on dirt and sand tracks through imposing Peruvian canyons between Pisco and San Juan de Marcona.

The 28-year-old Briton known as Super Sam to his fans covered the course in 3hr 20min 43sec, more than three minutes ahead of his two closest rivals -- Honda's Argentine Kevin Benavides and his fellow KTM rider Toby Price of Australia.

The feat saw the Briton climb top of the overall standings, Sunday's stage winner Joan Barreda of Spain starting well but getting lost.

Barreda came in 30 minutes off Sunderland's mark after losing his way.

“I didn’t find a way-point and I had to go back for 15 kilometres to the way point before, and go back almost 30 kilometres more,” the Spaniard said, explaining he got lost because he was in the lead with no-one to follow. 

“I cannot make any more mistakes,” he said.

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