Reigning WEC Champion Mika Ahola Dies

January 16, 2012
JC Hilderbrand
JC Hilderbrand
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Hilde is holding down the fort at MotoUSA’s Southern Oregon HQ. With world-class dirt bike and ATV trails just minutes away, the hardest part is getting him to focus on the keyboard. Two wheels or four, it doesn’t matter to our Off-Road Editor so long as it goes like hell in the dirt.

E1 Podium - World Enduro Championship - Slovakia
Mika Ahola stands atop the podium at a WEC event in Slovakia. He died at age 37.

One of the world’s top enduro riders, Mika Ahola, died as a result of injuries sustained in a training accident. He was 37 years old.

The rider from Haameenlinna, Finland, reportedly suffered serious injuries in a crash at Girona, Spain. At the time of the accident, Ahola was not preparing for another assault on the World Enduro Championship. The Honda rider left the sport on top by winning the WEC E3 division in 2011 and then retiring on January 1, 2012. His run of five consecutive world championships spanned from 2007 to this past season, all of which came aboard Hondas. He captured titles in the E1, E2 and E3 divisions, making him the first rider in history to complete the hat trick.

The Finnish rider started his professional career in 1993 with Husqvarna before moving to the TM squad in 1997. He spent three seasons with VOR, returned to Huskies in ’04-‘05 and then found Honda in 2006. Ahola was a decorated ISDE competitor with seven World Trophy team victories. He also visited America to contest the EnduroCross races.

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