Red Bull X-Fighters riders feel a bit nervous about performing their gravity-defying tricks on the first-ever floating track in Munich built on a lake.
MUNICH, Germany – The revolutionary Red Bull X-Fighters track on water might look a bit daunting to the world’s best FMX riders but they said on Thursday they were confident they could avoid crashing into the lake off the triangle-shaped 450-meter long circuit that has been set up for the Munich edition of the 2014 World Tour on Saturday at Munich’s world famous Olympic Park.
For the first time in Freestyle Motocross history, the riders will be performing their tricks on a most unique track – set up on a picturesque lake in the middle of rolling grass-covered hills. “Everything feels the same when we jump and the landings are great,” said Australia’s Josh Sheehan. “We just can’t afford to go off the side on a landing. There are a few things you have to be careful about.”
Pushing the boundaries of the world’s most prestigious FMX tour to unchartered territory, the linear track has been built on top of 260 floating pontoons with tons of dirt piled on top to create four regular ramp jumps, a super-kicker, two quarter-pipes and two gap jumps. The track weighs 2,000 tons, or equivalent to the weight of 12 Boeing 747 jumbo jets.
“Riding the track on the water makes it a little intimidating because you can’t make any mistakes or you’ll end up in the lake,” said Rob Adelberg after training on Thursday. “It’s definitely different having a track on the water. From a spectator’s point of view it looks pretty interesting out there in the water. Being from Australia I grew up in the water so I can swim pretty well. Hopefully we won’t see anyone in there having to swim.”
“The course in Munich is one of the biggest surprises this year,” said Red Bull X-Fighters sporting director Tes Sewell, adding the designers came up with the idea while trying ‘think outside the box’ when planning the track. “It takes a concept we’ve had for some time of doing a course that was more linear and not constrained by ‘four walls’. It’s a concept that comes from snowboarding and skiing slopestyle and is something we hope to evolve more over the years.”
While Red Bull X-Fighters athletes such as World Tour leader Levi Sherwood of New Zealand, Dany Torres of Spain and defending champion Thomas Pagès of France are masters of the air with their breathtaking tricks on and around their bikes as they fly up to 15 meters high and up to 30 meters in distance, they also had to demonstrate their ability to swim to be able to take part in the Munich event. Even though there will be a water rescue crew on hand, swimming proficiency is a requirement for the riders in Munich.
“Being on the water is cool,” said Sherwood. “The water would be a challenge if you start to get squealy. The challenge of the week is to keep in control and not go into the water.”]]>