Williams Lake’s own Brock Hoyer took home a hard-fought bronze medal at the X Games in Colorado Saturday, Feb 2.
Hoyer now boasts an X Games trifecta having won gold in 2017, silver in 2018 and bronze this year in 2019. The Williams Lake snow bike and dirt bike rider has been competing in the snow bikecross event since its inception three years ago and trained for months before Saturday’s race at Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen, CO.
While Hoyer said he was slightly disappointed in the result, he added any time you can bring home a medal from X Games is a win.
“I’m truly grateful and happy for it,” he told the Tribune. “I worked really hard, and I’ve been kind of beating myself up over it because I made a mistake — just an error on my part — but everyone on my team did a great job and to bring home a medal is satisfying.”
After coming in first in his qualifying heat before the final, Hoyer came out of the gate strong in second place, avoiding an early race collision. Hoyer battled for first place with Jessie Kirchmeyer of Java, New York while Hoyer’s friend Cody Matechuck of Cochran, Alta. dogged his tail.
Despite being new to the event, Kirchmeyer held Hoyer off battling through changing light conditions making the track a challenge for the riders to see clearly. Hoyer rode hard and fast for all of the 14 laps, determined to close the gap.
But with eight laps left, Hoyer hit a patch of ice and snow coming around a corner and wiped out. Matechuck used the crash to steal second but Hoyer, undaunted by the crash, was back on his snowbike in seconds.
“I got lucky,” he said of being able to hop back on his bike so quickly. “My hand never came off that clutch, and I guess we kind of train for that type of thing mentally, those situations.”
From there, while Hoyer closed the gap he was unable to reclaim second place, though Matechuck managed to dethrone Kirchmeyer in the last three laps to take gold. Matechuck was 2018’s gold medalist, as well, and is a longtime friend of Hoyer’s off the race track.
Hoyer said he wants to thank everyone in Williams Lake for helping him prepare for this year’s event, and said he’s motivated to prepare better than ever for next year’s X Games.
At the viewing party held Saturday at Spectra Power Sports in support of Hoyer, you could hear an audible groan when he crashed but followed by cheers when he got back on his bike and finished strong.
Rick Seibert of SPS and the vice president of the Williams Lake Powder Kings Snowmobile Club, helped organize the viewing party and said that he has known Hoyer for 20 years. He has encouraged him and watched him in his professional career.
“As far as the race (Saturday), Brock was looking good, he definitely had a shot at the win in the final race there,” Seibert observed. “The three guys who were riding up front are all right around the same level so as you could see in the race, Brock made one little slip-up, he almost came back to take over second place. It’s all about running a clean race once you get to that level of racing, one little mistake is all it can take.”
Hoyer has been training for the last two months for the X Games as well as working on his bike, as unlike many riders, he serves as his own mechanic.
While Hoyer did not achieve his goal of gold, Seibert says winning bronze at such a prestigious event against the worlds best is “nothing to hang your head at.” Of the three races Hoyer has competed in, Seibert said it was definitely the most competitive he’s seen and that every one of those three riders had a chance to win.
“He went down, completely down, on the ground and was able to come up, close the gap and actually challenge for second place,” Seibert said. “At that point though that track is at 8,000, 9,000 feet of elevation and he was just out of gas. He gave it his all. That’s racing.”