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21 juli 2024
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Home » Yentel Martens aims to strike FIM Sand Races World Cup gold in 2024

Yentel Martens aims to strike FIM Sand Races World Cup gold in 2024

A strong second in last year’s inaugural FIM Sand Races World Cup, Yentel Martens – Honda will get his campaign under way at this coming weekend’s Enduropale du Touquet Pas-de-Calais on the shores of northern France with a single goal in mind – to go one better in 2024 and strike gold.

Yentel Martens at 2023 Monte Gordo Sand Experience © Frederik Herregods

The Belgian was the only rider to defeat eventual series winner Todd Kellett – Yamaha during last year’s series when he dominated the final round – the Monte Gordo Sand Experience – on the golden sands of Portugal’s Algarve region in November, but this time around the thirty-three-year-old has his sights set on the top step of the podium.

“Last year I was second in the championship and this year I would like to go for the title,” he said. “For me it is a nice championship. I really enjoy it and I am happy that sand and beach racing has developed a lot the last couple of years all over the world.”

For 2024 the FIM Sand Races World Cup has been expanded to six rounds – doubling its duration – that run across two continents and five countries before signing off at the start of December. With each event having its own separate format, the series presents a unique challenge that will test the skills of competitors to the limit.

“It is really good for our discipline we have more races. It is difficult to say what was my favourite race [last year], the three were completely different. I enjoyed all three races but if I have to choose I will say the Enduropale du Touquet Pas-de-Calais.”

The son of 1993 FIM 500cc World Motocross Champion Jacky and a former MXGP competitor himself, Martens was more or less destined to grow up racing motorcycles and he started riding as a three-year-old around the yard of his family home at Lommel before kicking off his Motocross career at the age of thirteen.

Given the location of his hometown – which is the base of the legendary Motocross circuit that is the venue for this year’s MXGP of Flanders – it was also inevitable that he would excel in sand.

“Yeah, I live in Lommel so I grew up riding in the sand. Hard-pack I also like but in Belgium we do not have so many hard-pack tracks.”

Racing in sand is notoriously tough and physically challenging so Martens knows that a dedicated training regime is essential if he wants to win this season.

“From March to September I work with my father and his MXGP team and from July I start again with physical training like cycling and a kind off CrossFit [while] riding the bike more. During the season I ride three to four times a week when we have no sand race coming.”

With the Weston Beach Race in Great Britain, Italy’s Bibione Sand Storm and the Ronde des Sables added to last season’s existing rounds, competitors can be sure of new experiences in 2024, but Martens is keeping a cool head and planning to take everything in his stride.

“Enduropale du Touquet Pas-de-Calais for sure is for us the most famous race and the Enduro del Verano in Argentina is also really cool. Monte Gordo was also really nice for the first time they organised it. The other races I know a bit. I am also really curious how the Weston Beach Race will be – I heard it is really crazy!”

Followers of the FIM Sand Races World Cup can stay completely up to date with all the latest news through new FIM social media platforms on Facebook and Instagram and via the Sportity app using the password FIMSandRaces.

By using the tag #FIMSandRaces, fans will also be able to interact on social media with riders and like-minded enthusiasts.

To view the full 2024 FIM Sand Races World Cup calendar along with more information click here.