|2024 FIM Sand Races World Cup gets under way this weekend. The eagerly-anticipated 2024 FIM Sand Races World Cup bursts into action this coming weekend (2-4 February) with the legendary Enduropale du Touquet Pas-de-Calais getting the extended six-round series under way on the coast of northern France.
There is huge excitement surrounding the 2024 series which has double the number of rounds compared to its inaugural edition in 2023 and with each round featuring its own unique format, the growing list of registered riders will be tested in a different way at every event. The number of separate categories has also been expanded to nine, ensuring that the 2024 FIM Sand Races World Cup is even more accessible.
With last year’s premier Moto class winner Todd Kellett – Yamaha yet to commit to the full series, the current favourite – on paper at least – has to be Belgium’s Yentel Martens – Honda. The son of 1993 FIM 500cc Motocross World Champion Jacky, former MXGP racer Martens was the only rider to beat Kellett last season when he won the final round – the Monte Gordo Sand Experience in Portugal – to secure a clear second in the series.
Martens can expect strong opposition from Frenchman Camille Chapeliere – KTM who finished fourth overall in 2023 with a best finish of second at the Enduro del Verano in Argentina along with last year’s fifth-placed rider Enzo Levrault – Husqvarna who is also from France.
In 2023 the Moto Women category saw a fiercely fought contest between fast French female Mathilde Denis – Honda and Amandine Verstappen – Yamaha from Belgium with Denis emerging on top and the pair will renew their rivalry this season, going head-to-head as the series visits five countries and two continents between February and December.
Last season’s Moto Veteran winner Arnaud Besnier – Honda from France is back for 2024 and aiming to stay on top, but he can expect a strong challenge from his compatriot Christophe Brucker – KTM who chased him all the way in 2023 along with, among other strong competitors, Frenchman Dominique Mieuzet – Honda.
Any chance France’s Keveen Rochereau – Honda had of victory in the Quad class evaporated last season when he sat out the second round, but a double win at the final round on the golden sands of the Algarve clearly demonstrated his potential and he is back in action again with his sights firmly set on the top step of the podium, although his fellow Frenchman Pablo Violet – Yamaha will certainly have other ideas.
In the Quad Veteran category Axel Dutrie – Yamaha from France and Portugal’s Paulo Fernandes – Yamaha are among the highly-fancied registered riders.
With the list of registered riders growing every day – and given the unpredictable nature of this form of racing – it is far too early to make any solid predictions, although following this weekend’s action we should have a much clearer picture of the riders to watch in 2024.
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. Photo 2023 Enduropale du Touquet Pas-de-Calais © Frederik Herregods