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Verstappen goes for gold in Women’s class of FIM Sand Races World Cup

Verstappen goes for gold in Women’s class of FIM Sand Races World Cup

With one round down and five to go, Amandine Verstappen (Yamaha) has taken an early lead in the Women’s class of the 2024 FIM Sand Races World Cup and the twenty-four-year-old Belgian racer has got her sights firmly set on the title after finishing second in 2023.

Words: FIM Sand Races World Cup Press Release. Images: Fredrik Herregods

At the series-opening Enduropale du Touquet earlier this month, Verstappen was in dominant form as she led home the female field and in the process charged from outside the top one-hundred-and-fifty riders up to a sensational eighty-second overall at the finish following three gruelling hours on the northern coast of France.

never mind the pink number plates, Amandine is a serious Sand Racer, finishing 82nd overall at Le Touquet and 1st female racer home.

“It’s true that I was going for the Women’s victory, but apart from that I didn’t know where I would finish,” she said. “Anything can happen and I didn’t expect to finish so high up the overall ranking, but my coach was sure that I could make it into the top one-hundred.”

Fully committed to racing all six rounds of the newly-expanded FIM Sand Races World Cup, Verstappen does not pause for even a moment when asked if she has set herself any goals for 2024.

“The aim is to win the title because last year I finished second!”

Like so many other riders, racing motorcycles is a family affair for Verstappen who was introduced to two wheels at the age of four by her father who also raced. Growing up in Belgium, it was almost inevitable that she would excel in sand. It is also no surprise that her favourite Motocross rider is Jeffrey Herlings, one of the greatest sand riders ever, who she rates highly for his perseverance and ability to come back strongly from injury.

Verstappen is well known to Motocross fans after battling in the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship (WMX) every season since she made her debut at the MXGP of the Netherlands in 2014 when she was barely into her teens. No points came on her debut, but the following year she finished the season in fourth and remained in the top six for the next four years, claiming her debut overall victory in 2019 at Valkenswaard, the track where she made her WMX debut five years earlier.

2024 FIM Sand Races World Cup // Round One Enduropale Du Touquet // Female podium – 1st Amandine Verstappen, 2nd Mathilde Martinez, 3rd Mathilde Denis

She was sixth overall in 2021 and again in 2022, though is now focussing on the exciting Sand Races series which runs until the start of December and has further rounds in Argentina, Great Britain, Italy, Portugal and France.

“I’m going to do a [WMX] race,” she added, “but this year I’m concentrating on the Sand Races World Cup.”

The Enduro del Verano in Argentina is the next event on the 2024 FIM Sand Races World Cup calendar this coming weekend (24-26 February).

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.