Can Tom Pages defend his crown for a second year? Pic - Red Bull X-Fighters
X-FIGHTERS SET TO TAKE OFF
With the first round of the Red Bull X-Fighters series just a few weeks away, we thought we'd take a look at the events on the calendar this year, talk to Rob Adelberg who's doing the full series, and get an insight into the Munich course built on water!
The series kicks off in Mexico City again on March 14 in the tight arena that's also at altitude, which made things very interesting last year. From there, on May 25 it rolls on to what was arguably the best event of the year in 2013 at Osaka, Japan. The picturesque setting is nestled on the doorstep of Osaka castle and brings an atmosphere that's tough to beat.
June 27 sees the series return to it's iconic Madrid home for the riders to duke it out in the tight, yet incredibly atmospheric, Plaza de Tores Las Ventas. It holds a special place on the calendar being the original venue, yet with the tight confines, keeps the action incredibly close.
From there it rolls on to Munich, Germany where for the very first time the entire course will be built on water! The full track will be built on a lake with swimming pontoons, which are supported by a scaffolding substructure. Believe it or not, but this revolutionary idea will not limit the track in any way. To give the track an overall length of over 520m (1700ft) the designers planned more then 450 pontoons to have enough space for the 3600 tons of dirt, which will shape the track. Once it is all set-up by 4 heavy duty cranes, the riders will find 6 regular jumps, 1 super-kicker and 1 quarterpipe to play with. As if all that would not be enough the track will brake another course layout standard by having a linear instead of a the usual box shape style.
The unique water-layout of the Munich course. It's sure going to make it interesting!
Finally, the event wraps up in Pretoria, South Africa, which was meant to happen last year, but cancelled due to unforseen circumstances.
ROB ADELBERG ON TAKING ON THE YEAR:
You had a solid year on the X-Fighters tour in 2013, what's it going to take to repeat or better that?
I just tried to enjoy it as much as possible. I had one new trick, the Cliffhanger flip, but apart from that I was pretty relaxed and confident I could ride smooth and consistent. This year, it's the same game plan. Ride smooth and consistent, but I want to do better, so I'd like to take two new tricks to series. One off the quarter pipe and another of the 75.
Pages was riding pretty insane last year, will he be the man to beat again?
It's hard to say. There are a few guys that can take it, but it all comes down to being consistent. I think there are two main guys to watch – Pages and Taka.
Who else is going to be one for you to watch?
Like I said there's a few. I think Clinton Moore and Josh Sheehan were unlucky in 2013 and could definitely take it. There's also Sherwood, Adam Jones and Torres it's a stacked field.
Have you done anything different in the lead up to this year? Changed your program, training, bike set-up?
I'm more strict on my fitness program. Truman Carroll and myself share a compound and we invested in a foam pit and quarter pipe, so that's going to help out big time this year. I have only ever used foam pits to learn the flip and everything else on to dirt, so with some time in the pit will help my progression to the top.
We saw a lot of the big, 'best trick' kinda stuff work its way into the runs last year, is that becoming a necessity?
For sure it's needed, but you also need to be consistent, because one mistake in a X-Fighters run and you're out. So, as much as you need all the new bangers, you need to be 100% dialled on the others.
What's your goal for the series for this year?
Bring in my new tricks to my runs, stay healthy and finish on podium each event.
I'd like to thank all my supporters my friends and family, my mechanic Mini and all the companies that continue to back me: Rockstar Energy, Metal Mulisha, Answer Racing, DVS, Von Zipper, Pro Taper, FMF, Works Connection, TeeNCee Designs, Alpinestars, Bell Helmets, Motul, Polisport, Ethika, GPR Stabilizers and LM Action sports.
Big thanks to you guys at Freerider Mx for giving my career a kick start so many years ago very grateful.