Both Matechuk and Hoyer won their qualifying heats, Matechuk fighting from the back of the field after stalling on the first turn in heat one. His qualifying time of 06:04.47 gave him first choice of starting position in the finals. Hoyer qualified fourth at 06:25.57 in heat two.
In the finals, Matechuk quickly established himself as the man to beat after building an early gap out front. Despite falling midway during the race, the 23-year-old Albertan finished more than eight seconds ahead of second-place Hoyer, the defending event champion. Hoyer, 29, crossed the finish line more than 14 seconds ahead of bronze medalist Kody Kamm, emphasizing the dominance of the two Canadian Yamaha riders.
Matechuk and Hoyer were both piloting the new 2018 Yamaha YZ450F, which features electric start and the exclusive wireless Power Tuner app. Matechuk races out of Cycle Works Foothills (Calgary, AB), while Hoyer’s program is based out of Spectra Power Sports in Williams Lake, BC.
“Winning an X Games Gold medal is a dream come true,” said Matechuk, who won bronze in 2017. “Everything was working well, the bike was pulling hard, and I was really feeling confident. I’m so pumped. I’d really like to thank everyone who supported this dream.”
“It wasn’t the result we were hoping for, but we brought the silver home as a team,” said Hoyer after finishing one spot lower on the podium than last year. “I’m happy for Cody. It’s great to see another Canadian take home the Gold.”
Both Matechuk and Hoyer will now turn their attention to the Canadian Snow Bike MX Nationals, which kicks off February 10 in Sicamous, BC.