American Idol !

One of the sport’s fastest-rising female stars, Maddie Hoover (Gas Gas) is stepping up to the top-flight TrialGP Women class in the 2019 FIM Trial World Championship.

A strong second in Trial2 Women last year, the 20-year-old from North Carolina in the USA has based herself in Europe over the winter and has been training hard to prepare for her debut in the premier class.

“This off-season I have stayed in Europe again, training with some of the top riders in Norway and also spending quite a few months in Spain,” says Maddie. “Hanne Haga committed to being my minder for all the World and European rounds this year so we have been living and training together since last fall!”

With last year’s Trial2 Women champion Alex Brancati also moving up for 2019, was Maddie tempted to stay where she was and try to win the title?

“I honestly didn’t give staying in Trial2 Women much thought after I was told I could move up if I wanted. Staying to fight for the championship would have been cool but I am really determined to see how I can do against all the TrialGP Women!

“I think I’ve made the move mainly because I know I will never get any better if I don’t push myself and see what it takes to do well. I have a lot of support from the people around me and they believe I can do well when the competition is tough so I’m ready to put myself to the test.”

Maddie finished seventh in 2017 after struggling with consistency but podium finishes at three out of the four points-scoring events in 2018 were proof that she is quickly maturing as a rider.

“I was pretty happy with my results last year and being second for the year really helped with my confidence. I think I was hoping to make it on the podium a couple of times but not expecting to keep it together all season!

“This year I’ve set the goal of getting at least one place better every event! I want to work on consistency and taking it section by section. I’m really looking forward to challenging myself this year and having fun with it!”

The FIM TrialGP Women competition gets under way at TrialGP Japan at the iconic Twin Ring Motegi circuit on June 7-9.

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