Flip­ping good X-Fighter fun

Union Build­ings to have more fan ca­pac­ity this year

CityPress - - Sport - RE­ABETSWE MASHIGO re­abetswe.mashigo@city­press.co.za

South Africa’s lone Freestyle Mo­tor Cross (FMX) ath­lete Nick de Wit will miss out on Satur­day’s Red Bull X-Fight­ers World Tour at the Union Build­ings in Pre­to­ria. The rider is cur­rently on pa­ter­nity leave fol­low­ing the birth of his son. How­ever, he will be there as a re­serve, mean­ing he might par­tic­i­pate should some­body get hurt or be un­able to ride.

South Africa will be the fourth stop of the ex­treme sport’s world tour af­ter Mexico, Greece and Spain. The fi­nal will take place in the United Arab Emi­rates in Abu Dhabi in Oc­to­ber.

The event was sold out in South Africa last year, with 22 000 spec­ta­tors at­tend­ing, and this year the or­gan­is­ers have in­creased the space to ac­com­mo­date more seats for the fans to ex­pe­ri­ence the front- and back­flip stunts the FMX ath­letes are renowned for.

Chief course de­signer-builder Dane Her­ron told City Press South Africa’s course would be the fairest. He pointed out that the Greek course was too rocky. He added that build­ing such struc­tures was not an easy task and in some coun­tries he did not use dirt.

“The most chal­leng­ing pro­ject was build­ing the Egypt course, where we used wood in­stead of dirt, and the Glen He­len course in the US be­cause of its size,” said Her­ron.

He said they had spe­cial quar­ter pipes set up for the riders for the first time on the tour. New Zealan­der Levi Sher­wood will not be par­tak­ing in the event due to his an­kle in­jury and will be re­placed with Botswana’s Alastair Sayer.

“We have spe­cial quar­ter pipes set up for the guys to do the Egg Roll, which is a back­flip that goes in a cir­cle like a loop. Riders take off from the mid­dle ramp and land on the dirt,” he said.

The Red Bull X-Fight­ers is the most pres­ti­gious FMX event in the world . Last year’s win­ner was Josh Shee­han, who is cur­rently far be­hind cur­rent leader and fel­low Aus­tralian Clin­ton Moore.

The over­all win­ners are un­likely to be de­ter­mined in Pre­to­ria due to the tight log stand­ings and will have to wait un­til the de­cider in Abu Dhabi.

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