We are halfway the season and like to update you once more about the results of Belgain Enduro Rider, Mathias Van Hoof.
After the 3 wins in a row for the Belgian Championship Enduro, Mathias headed for Greece, for his third race in the FIM Open Enduro class. Initially, this race was not scheduled, but after the race on Corsica has been cancelled, the Greek club of Serres in Thessaloniki organised a perfect replacement Enduro GP with great special stages and a very challenging liaison trails.
The Van Hoof team headed to North Greece by bus, crossing no less than 5 countries and after 2350 km’s, the BETA- Denicol team arrived in the incredible heat of Greece where the temperature nearly hit the 40°C.
But Mathias did not bother and rode a great race on Friday evening and won his class and became third scratch in this extreme Prologue in the FIM Open series.
He continued his leadership on Saturday and rode the fastest scratch time in the first special stage. During the day, he increased his lead, won all the stages in his class, despite the heat, till more than 7 minutes to the second rider in the Open 4 Stroke class. But just before the end of the last lap; the unexpected disaster happen. On the very steep trails, he hit a stone, which bended the header tube which burned the water hose. Halfway the last special, he got stuck as the engine lost too much water and started boiling… End of the race and 25 points lost.
But the team managed to recover the bike, brought it back to the paddock and repaired it on time. So, on Sunday, Mathias avoided the big stones and repeated his performance of Saturday, won 7 of the 8 stages and took a glorious win in the World championship Enduro Open 4 stroke class!
“This is an unbelievable moment for me. I worked so hard the last months, I had so many bad luck and broken bones, but the feeling to stay on the highest step of the podium is incredible. I am so happy to win this race for the world championship. I thank my team, my parents and all my sponsors to make this happen”, an emotional Mathias after the race.
The week after, and 2350 km more West and back home, it was again a race for the Belgian Championship which he was leading. He still felt tired after the races in Greece and was not so fit, but at the end of the day, he recovered, rode some very fast times and became 3rd overall and 3rd in his class. But because his closest rival was slower, he could extend again his lead in the championship till 19 points.
Last weekend, it was the 8th race for the Belgian championship in the small town of Lierneux, with the famous open stone mine special stage. Not less than 8 hours non stop enduro racing and an extra special stage at the end, made the day extremely long and exhaustive. On top, the temperature was nearly 30°C and a lot of dust made it even worse for the riders. But Mathias managed the circumstances extremely well. He opened the day with the fastest time in his class in the very long and demanding stage in the forest and stone mine. Some little technical problems made riding during the day more difficult , so in the cross stages afterwards, he lost some concertation and had some small crashes which costed value time. But Mathias recovered and rode the last 3 stages the one bust fastest time of his class and so he could take the 2nd place overall and in his E3 class. Again, he was better and faster than his nearest competitor and so, he extended his lead till 21 points in scratch and by 18 points in his class.
“It was very tough and exhaustive half year with 8 national moto’s and 3 international Grand Prix races, with long distances and very heavy races. But I am very happy to be in the lead for the national title and at this moment, I am 4th in the world in my 4 stroke class. I will take rest now this summer, regroup and get more energy for the next races end August and September. My aim is to bring the title home in my Inter Class and to BETA and to get at least the bronze plate in the worldchampionship. That would be fantastic. Again, without the support of my team; my parents and all my sponsors and partners, this would not be possible. “