Snow bike pioneer Brock Hoyer is hungry to add another Winter X Games gold medal to his arsenal.
Hoyer, 30 of Williams Lake, became the first person ever to win a snow bikecross gold medal at last year’s Aspen X Games — the first time the sport was held at the event — and wants to put the rest of the world on notice he is only getting better in the sport.
“That’s the plan — to show how hard I’ve been working and to go down and win another gold medal and bring it back home,” Hoyer told the Williams Lake Tribune. “I’m even more prepared this year after realizing what needs to be done in terms of changing [bike] setups and all that.”
This year’s 2018 Winter X Games will once again be held in Aspen, CO., from Jan. 25-28. To prepare for the elevation change and to get acclimated to the conditions, Hoyer is heading south of the border early to train.
“I’m way more prepared this year,” he said. “Mentally and physically more prepared and feeling really good on the bike. It’s been going really well in that respect.”
The summer of 2017, however, wasn’t so favourable.
With a background as a professional motocross rider before transitioning into the fledgling sport of snow bike racing, Hoyer typically utilized the summer months as off-season training.
The province’s wildfires of 2017, particularly in Hoyer’s training grounds of the Cariboo, didn’t do him any favours.
With the backcountry closed and an off-road vehicle ban enforced due to the wildfires, Hoyer started looking at other ways to train. While downhill mountain biking, he sustained an injury forcing him to require surgery.
“Being hurt set me back a bit,” he said. “But I just had to work harder to catch back up, that’s all. With the backcountry closure I crashed mountain biking and tore a ligament in my thumb. Had surgery the next day and started the road to recovery. I had a cast on and was still in the gym working to get back.”
And since snow conditions have allowed for it, Hoyer has been back on his snow bike training up at Yank’s Peak in the Cariboo and putting in work in the gym.
“I’ve been working with a trainer, Tyrel [Lucas] from Total Ice Training Centre, and he’s been helping me get back to where I need to be strength wise,” he said.
“I’m just training as hard as I can. Doing more bike prep, more testing. I haven’t even gone back to work [since the injury] getting ready. I’ve just been totally trying to focus and get prepared for this race.”
Asked whether he thinks he’ll have a target on his back after winning 2017 gold at the X Games, Hoyer said he’s not too worried about it.
“I felt the same way going in last year,” he said. “Everybody was gunning for me, anyway.
“I’m going to do my best to repeat. I’ve been working harder and putting more time and effort into it and hopefully it will pay off.”