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#4 Madrid JUly 22 / 23 2010

home is the hero can dany torres claim another l as ventas victory?


MADRID / RED BULL X-FIGHTERS

cover photography: Daniel Kolodin and joerg Mitter for Global-Newsroom; PHOTOGRAPHY: Alex Schelbert/Red Bull Photofiles

MADRID MADNESS With the championship battle hotting up, Red Bull X-Fighters returns to its spiritual home – Madrid’s legendary Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas, for the traditional two-day round of aerial mayhem, the only event of its kind on the sporting calendar. This time out though there’s a major difference an all-new Wild Card competition on day one. Six of the world’s most spectacular new talents have been invited to Madrid to test their skills against the very best and at stake for these young guns is the possibility of progressing to the main event for a showdown with the regular stars of world’s most intense FMX competition. It all adds to a double dose of furious freestyle action. Only one burning question remains: just who will reign in Spain?

CONTENTs

04 LOOK BACK The best of round three in Moscow 10 news Updates from the world of Red Bull X-Fighters 13 RIDER Nate Adams 14 AIR TIMES Origins of the World Tour 18 Los toreros Dany Torres meets bullfighting legend Manolo Mejia 23 rider Mat Rebeaud 25 Rider Robbie Maddison 26 AIR CRAFT How riders modify their bikes 28 Course of action Dane Herron’s track design secrets 31 Rider Eigo Sato 33 Rider Dany Torres 34 trick bag How do they do that? 38 wild times Sporting Director Tes Sewell explains a unique new format 40 Rider Levi Sherwood 41 WILD CARDS Cameron Sinclair plus a mystery rider! 42 Other riders The ranking riders 44 the Rules & Venue All you need to know 48 Results The chase for the title 50 World Tour The season calendar

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RED BULL X-FIGHTERS / MADRID

MADRID / RED BULL X-FIGHTERS

LOOK BACK ROUND 3 / MOSCOW

PHOTOGRAPHY: Christian Pondella/Red Bull Photofiles

on june 26, the Red Bull x-fighters world series blasted into moscow. in the shadow of st basil’s cathedral, 40,000 fans baked in the 35C sun as the 12 hottest fmx riders in the world dug deep in their bags of tricks.

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Kiwi high-flier It’s a long, gruelling ride from his homeland in New Zealand to the heart of Russia but for Levi Sherwood, making that journey has already started to deliver handsome rewards. The 18-year-old Kiwi, nicknamed ‘Rubber Kid’, is pictured here as he wildly celebrated in front of thousands of fans in Moscow after he snatched first place in the third stage of the Red Bull X-Fighters World Series tour.  

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PHOTOGRAPHY: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Photofiles

MEXICO MADRID CITY / RED BULL X-FIGHTERS

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Red hot Square Usually packed with tourists in the summer, the area around Moscow’s historic Red Square hosted the third stage of the Red Bull X-Fighters World Series. For the site’s radical transformation, 250 lorry-loads of dirt were needed to build the arena. As temperatures hit 35C, 40,000 Muscovites were treated to a sizzling display of the hottest FMX action yet seen on the X-Fighters 2010 Tour.  

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MADRID / RED BULL X-FIGHTERS

Airborne AussieS

PHOTOGRAPHY: Joerg Mitter for Global-Newsroom

Attached to his Yamaha YZ250 by only his hands, Australian Cameron Sinclair soars high over Red Square spectators in a spectacular high-speed ‘Tsunami’ trick. Elsewhere, fellow countryman Robbie Maddison (left) is saluted by a security guard as he launches off a ramp outside St Basil’s Cathedral.

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RED BULL X-FIGHTERS / MADRID

MADRID / RED BULL X-FIGHTERS

COUNTDOWN TO MADRID…

NEWS cam returns to the ring

After a glorious homecoming in Madrid last year – where the fanatical local support spurred him on to an amazing win – Dany Torres is hoping for another this weekend. And he’s sure the home crowd will lift him again. “Madrid is really important,” he says. “To ride in my home country, in front of my public, is amazing. The support at Las Ventas made me ride better and I hope for the same this year.” Currently eighth in the 2010 standings, Torres finished fourth in Mexico City and sixth in Moscow but sat out the Giza round after wrist surgery. “I do have a little problem with my wrist, there’s a screw in there, but I’ll still try to bring something new to Las Ventas. That’s the aim.”

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PHOTOGRAPHY: Balazs Gardi for Global-newsroom, Joerg Mitter for Global-Newsroom

dany aims for repeat performance

Cameron Sinclair will this weekend make an emotional return to the Las Ventas bullring, a year after the accident which almost claimed his life. At last year’s Madrid round, Cam was determined to execute the ‘Double Backflip’ that had become his signature after he landed the trick at the Texas round. But disaster struck and he crashed heavily, sustaining serious injuries which forced him to miss the rest of the Tour. The Australian made a speedy recovery, however, and returned to Red Bull X-Fighters action in April for the first round in Mexico. He’s now looking forward to unleashing his wildest tricks again in Madrid. “I can’t wait to go to Madrid,” he says. “Six months ago I never expected to be able to come back this fast. It’s certainly going to be interesting to go there because I don’t have much memory from Spain last time! I remember the hotel and the venue but that’s about it!” Sinclair spent a month in a Spanish hospital following his crash. His girlfriend Brooke was by his side throughout and she will return to Madrid with him for this weekend’s event. “My fiancée is going to come over again, so that’s going to be great,” he says. “I think it might actually be harder for her than it will be for me. The last time she was there was the four weeks I was in hospital and I guess that was pretty difficult for her. But I’m looking forward to it.” A massive reception in Madrid surely awaits the returning rider. “From the feedback I’ve been getting I guess the Spanish fans are really excited I’m coming back and that’s great. I’m pumped about it.”

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RED BULL X-FIGHTERS / MADRID

freestylin’

moscow hosts swiss summit Mat Rebeaud’s return to Red Bull X-Fighters competition in Moscow was boosted by the arrival of support from home in the shape of pro snowboarder Yuri Podladchikov, the native Russian who now rides for Switzerland making a rare trip back to Moscow to cheer on his new countryman. Podladchikov is widely recognised as one of the major stars of the snowboard scene and has competed for Switzerland since 2007. The 21-year-old Zurich native made his debut at the Russian Snowboard Championships at the tender age of 14 and competes on the TTR World Tour, where he finished second overall in 2010 against the crème-de-la-crème of the world snowboard elite. In the end Yuri’s support wasn’t enough to help Mat to a winning ride but Rebeaud was happy to just compete again after the pre-season accident that ruled him out of the first two rounds. “Nothing has changed in my head,” he said. “I started FMX at an early age, and since then it has been my hobby, my job and my life. When you hurt yourself you want to get back as quickly as possible to give your best to the sport. That is why we are here.”

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1/ How good was it to finally add a Red Bull X-Fighters win with your Giza victory? It was my first so it was a very good feeling. It’s always a good feeling to win so I was definitely pumped. For two weeks afterwards I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. 2/ What changed in Giza? I think I was having more fun. My tricks were just as good anywhere else as in Giza but maybe the judges saw I was having fun and that influenced the way they scored me. I’m not complaining, but I think there are still holes in the judging. 3/ Have you unlocked the key to X-Fighters victory? It made me realise I should not care so much about the judging but to go more for having fun because it shows and helps your score. 4/ Is Madrid your kind of environment? Sure, it’s always cool riding a bullring. It’s compact, the crowd’s tight and they’re really loud. It’s fun. The course is kind of a simple one and after Giza that apparently suits me! 5/ The pyramids in Egypt, Red Square in Moscow – the venues for Red Bull X-Fighters this year have been phenomenal. Is there a dream location? Honestly, we’re already going to my dream one – Rome. It’s going to be an awesome one to see.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Balazs Gardi for Global-newsroom, Joerg Mitter for Global-Newsroom

ADAM JONES


MADRID / RED BULL X-FIGHTERS

PHOTOGRAPHY: Christian Pondella/Red Bull Photofiles

2010 riders

NATE ADAMS Nickname / The Destroyer Nationality / USA Date of Birth / March 29, 1984 Bike / Yamaha YZ250 After a year of injuries in 2008, Nate Adams burst back onto the scene in spectacular style in 2009, dominating the second half of the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour and crowning his comeback season with a great performance at the season finale in London to win the overall title. Determined to defend it, the Destroyer has started 2010 in fine style and is already fighting for the series lead.

2009 Results Mexico City( Mexico)DNS Calgary (Canada) 5th Fort Worth (USA) 1st Madrid (Spain) 2nd London (UK) 1st Final Overall Position: CHAMPION

 

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RED BULL X-FIGHTERS / MADRID

MADRID / RED BULL X-FIGHTERS

AIR TIMES

2001 valencia

MIKE JONES (also showN left)

From just a single battle to a globe-spanning series featuring the best freestyle riders on the planet, Red Bull X-Fighters has come a long way. AND Here’s how…

on Jones. The Spaniard’s array of gravitydefying tricks relegated Jones to second, with Mike Metzger slotting into third place.

2002 Following the success of the Valencia event, Red Bull X-Fighters went for broke in 2002, migrating to Madrid’s legendary Plaza de Toros de las Ventas, for even wilder tricks. More than 23,000 fans crammed in, to see local hero Edgar Torronteras take his revenge 14 

2004 There was a sole event in 2004, Madrid again getting the nod, FMX legend Travis Pastrana continuing US domination and taking his first title, ahead of Nate Adams and Ronnie Renner. “Red Bull X-Fighters is more fun than any other event, with a unique atmosphere,” said Pastrana of his win. Little did he know that it was about become even more special. 2005 With crowds increasing in the Red Bull X-Fighters’ heartland of Spain, it was decided to go international. Given its bullfighting heritage, Mexico’s vast Plaza de Toros in Mexico City presented the obvious destination and here Ronnie Renner dominated what was fast becoming freestyle’s most exciting series. 2006 After a glut of US wins, 2006 saw a new European star emerge, as Swiss maestro Mat Rebeaud beat Pastrana in Mexico. He

PHOTOGRAPHY: Bernhard Spoettel/Red Bull Photofiles (2)

2001 The origins of Red Bull X-Fighters stretch back to a single event. On a steaming July day in 2001, a few thousand dedicated FMX fans gathered in Valencia’s bullfighting arena to watch the world’s best freestylers defy logic, physics and, presumably, every health and safety regulation in the book by throwing themselves and their bikes through the baking air. With echoes of Pamplona’s Running of the Bulls – 100 white-clad volunteers were herded into the arena by the FMX stars – and screamed on to ever more dangerous feats by a fanatical crowd, Mike Jones took victory and the template was set.

2003 By the following year, the stakes had doubled, with two events in Spain and the start of US domination, Kenny Bartram ruling in both Valencia and Madrid, twice pushing fellow American Nate Adams to second position. However, the Antipodeans put up a good fight, with Australian Dayne Kinnaird finishing third in Madrid and New Zealand’s Nick Franklin third in Valencia, paving the way for current stars such as Robbie Maddison, Levi Sherwood and Cameron Sinclair.

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RED BULL X-FIGHTERS / MADRID

2002 madrid

Edgar torronteraS

MADRID / RED BULL X-FIGHTERS

2003 VALENCIA

2004 madrid

kenny bartram

travis pastrana

finished third behind Pastrana and Nate Adams in Madrid, but it was clear that a new era was beginning. It was time to go global.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Ludovic Franco (1), www.flohagena.com (3), Joerg Mitter (2), Jürgen Skarwan (1), alexschelbert.de (1) all red bull photofiles

2007 The first World Tour took off in 2007, with events in Mexico, Ireland and, once again its spiritual home, Madrid. Here Travis Pastrana took another title, winning the finale after also winning at Ireland’s historic Slane Castle, to wrest his title back from Rebeaud. But the Swiss star wasn’t to let it go for long. 2008 Across a season that took in Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Forth Worth in the US, Madrid, Oetelshofen in Germany and the season finale in Warsaw, Rebeaud took three wins from the first four events to seal title victory, even before the finale.

2009 london nate adams

2005 mexico city ronnie renner

2008 germany

mat rebeaud

2007 madrid

travis PASTRANA

2006 madrid

Pastrana,adams (left) and rebeaud 16 

2009 But while everyone was talking about Rebeaud ruling the roost indefinitely, along came a skinny kid from New Zealand. Drafted into the ’09 opener in Mexico at the last minute, 17-year-old Levi Sherwood stunned everyone with a set of flawless tricks. He won on his debut, relegating Eigo Sato, almost twice his age, to second, with Rebeaud third. In Canada, Robbie Maddison staked his early claim to a first title, with Eigo Sato again second. In round three in Texas, Sato again picked up points, to extend his series lead. The stars of the show, though, were event winner Nate Adams, now finding form, and Australian Cameron Sinclair, who brought the crowd to its feet with an amazing double backflip. Back in the series’ heartland, local hero Dany Torres thrilled the Madrid crowd with a set of adrenaline-pumped runs that gave the injury-hampered rider a deserved win. But Adams was lurking in the wings, and second in Madrid put him in charge of the championship. It set up a thrilling four-way fight at the season finale in London’s Battersea power station. The title could have gone to any of Mat Rebeaud, Eigo Sato, Robbie Maddison or Nate Adams. It was Adams, though, who kept his focus and, after a fascinating duel with Robbie Maddison in the semi-final and Levi Sherwood in the final, ‘The Destroyer’ took the win – and triumphed in the overall standings, in the closest battle ever for the title.  

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RED BULL X-FIGHTERS / MADRID

MADRID / RED BULL X-FIGHTERS

passion, power and a hint of danger – red bull x-fighters and its inspiration, bullfighting, share all of these things. to see just how much more the two sports have in common, spanish rider dany torres sought out mexican bullfighting legend, Manolo Mejia

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PHOTOGRAPHY / Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

It’s a route Manolo Mejia knows only too well. The streets of Mexico City might grind and churn with traffic but it’s a journey he has undertaken hundreds of times, muscle memory taking over as he heads towards his second home, the city’s massive Plaza de Toros, the world’s biggest bullfighting arena, a vast sunken bowl that on the days when he stands in the middle of the dusty arena rings with the voices of 42,000 fans. Today, though, is different. When he arrives, the scene is alien, the plaza thronged with trucks, a host of unfamiliar looking strangers swarming through the main entrance. The

PHOTOGRAPHY: Christian Pondella/Red Bull Photofiles

LOS TOREROS  

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MADRID / RED BULL X-FIGHTERS

sound is different too. When Manolo works the arena it’s only the din of the vast crowds that rattle the walls of the outer arena. Today, there’s the howling mechanised buzz of engines being fired up and tested. And then a final incongruity: normally when Mejia makes his entrance here, it is through chaos, battling through a ceaseless stream of autograph requests, pausing to pose for quickly snatched photographs with devout fans. Not today. This afternoon, stepping across the coils of cables snaking from the bullring to TV trucks, he goes unmolested, unrecognised. For one of Mexico’s most celebrated bullfighters it’s a strange sensation, enough to provoke a wry smile. On the other side of the stadium the man he’s come to meet is also taking in his surroundings. For Dany Torres though, it’s a case of sizing up the challenge that awaits. The Spaniard is here for the first round of the 2010 Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour. He’s had a look at the course and worked through the list of gravity-defying tricks he believes will give him the edge over rivals such as Robbie Maddison and Nate Adams. The meeting between these two athletes brings with it an interesting set of parallels, a set of shared characteristics that has, since it’s inauguration at the stately bullring in the Spanish city of Valencia in 2001, always informed the ethos of Red Bull X-Fighters. Both are rooted in a heady mix of heroism, danger, showmanship and the conquering of fear. Both are concerned with an athlete mastering power – in Mejia’s case the bull, for Torres the bike and the course. For Mejia that’s the essence of his art: “The bull for me is both friend and collaborator.” After the formality of introductions and handshakes, Torres smiles when presented with this assessment. Despite growing up in the small village in Arahal, near Seville in Spain, the 23-year-old has never been to a ‘corrida’. He has friends in the sport, including Spanish bullfighting darling Jose Tomas and Manuel ‘El Cordobes’ Diaz, but so far his only physical connection has been to perform at some of the world’s biggest bullrings such as this one in Mexico City and at Madrid’s storied Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas.

“I’ve seen them on TV but not live. I would never stand in front of a bull, it’s way too dangerous,” he laughs. “The bullfighters have the guts to be in front of an animal of more than 500 kilos. I always dreamed of being in Madrid, in the middle of Las Ventas, so being here in the Monumental Plaza de Toros, having won here in 2007, is a great thing.” For Mejia it’s second nature. Born in Mexico City in 1965 he has been fighting bulls since the aged of eight. He made his first appearance at the Monumental in 1981 and, since turning pro in 1983, has become one of the most celebrated toreros in the history of the sport in Mexico. Bikes though, are another matter. “I like them but I have too much respect for the bikes; I know they’re dangerous. A friend of mine who was a bullfighter lost his life riding,” he says. “I’ve seen FMX on TV… the jumps and tricks these guys are capable of doing are incredibly impressive. Being in the air for a moment and controlling the machine requires a lot of skill. Some of these aspects are similar to the bullfighting art. “The adrenaline is perhaps the most common ingredient among both disciplines,” Mejia continues. “For example, I’m fighting against a beast, while they ride a machine, which, if they lose control of it or land in the wrong direction could mean a fatal error… the same as in bullfighting. You need to be very focused.”

PHOTOGRAPHY: Christian Pondella/Red Bull Photofiles

word play / MANOLO MEJÍA Freedom: To do what I like Fear: Is failure Mental preparation: What I need to face the bull Respect: What I win in front of the bull Danger: I see it every day at my job Focus: Need it a lot in everything I do Plaza Mexico: The best arena in which to work Adrenaline: Is with me all the time Injuries: Part of my career Bull: friend and collaborator

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RED BULL X-FIGHTERS / MADRID

2010 riders

PHOTOGRAPHY: Lee Powers/Red Bull Photofiles (3)

The pair wander through the back corridors and finally emerge into the bullring, packed now with mounds of earth, metal ramps glinting in the sunshine. “It’s strange to see the bullring like this with these ramps and mountains of dust. Matadores need a clear arena, but I know it is necessary for them to do their job,” says Mejia. “Believe me, it’s as odd for me as it is for him,” Torres smiles. Next stop is the arena’s chapel, the tiny sanctuary where, in the frantic period before bullfighters enter the ring, they find some small respite. “Fear is present in every corrida, as is nervousness, commitment and pressure, but we try to transform every emotion into the expectation of the people who come to see us,” Mejia says before leading Torres back to the tunnel where the bullfighters enter the ring. “This tunnel feels like home,” Mejia admits. “I come to the chapel and pray, then, dressed in the suit of lights, I go out directly to the bullring. A lot of emotions are stirred when I see this place: everything I’ve lived here, the fear you feel before a corrida, the responsibility to the crowd. It is always special.” Torres agrees: “It is an extraordinary scenario here. First of all, because of the number of people who fill this great site, but also because riding in the Plaza de Toros here or in Madrid is better than an open field or stadium, due to the atmosphere and the closeness of the fans. But I think that maybe the difference is that we, as riders, never think about the risk, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to perform the tricks.” Dismissing the fear, Mejia says, allows other sensations to come however. “Without a doubt the bullring is the most important place for me. Here I’ve lived many things: applause, catcalls, whistling… but also the euphoria you get you know people are here to watch you in action.” Above all that is the simplest corollary between the two athletes. One inhabits the edgiest of modern sports, the other an ancient, tradition-rich pursuit from which the motorised version takes it cues. In some ways they’re worlds apart but in that search for the edge of experience and the thrill of taking that risk in front of an awestruck crowd they are, absolutely, the same.

PHOTOGRAPHY: balazs gardi/Red Bull Photofiles. words: fernando lopez

WORD play/ DANY TORRES Freedom: To do everything I want on the bike Fear: Never had it Mental preparation: The most important thing for me Respect: You don’t need to have it Danger: Never think about it Focus: The principal thing I need before I go out on the track Plaza Mexico: Extraordinary Sports as art: A show for the public Entertainment: The most important thing in my job Bike: Mine’s a KTM 250SX

MADRID / RED BULL X-FIGHTERS

AIR MAT 2009 Results Mexico City( Mexico)3RD Calgary (Canada) 3RD Fort Worth (USA) 2ND Madrid (Spain) 6TH London (UK) 6TH Final Overall Position: 4th

mat rebeaud Nickname / air mat Nationality / Swiss Date of Birth / july 29, 1982 Bike / KTM 250SX Since his Red Bull X-Fighters debut in 2005, Mat Rebeaud has established himself as one of the series’ major forces. He took his first win in 2006, beating Travis Pastrana in Mexico and by 2008 was Tour champion. He was also in with a chance of landing back-to-back titles right up until the final round in London last year. A crash in training ruled him out of the first two rounds of 2010, but after an amazing comeback in Moscow he’s primed for more in Madrid.  

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2010 riders

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2009 Results Mexico City( Mexico)DNS Calgary (Canada) 1ST Fort Worth (USA) 5TH Madrid (Spain) 3RD London (UK) 4TH Final Overall Position: 2ND

ROBBIE MADDISON Nickname / Maddo Nationality / AustraliaN Date of Birth / July 14, 1981 Bike / Yamaha YZ250 Robbie Maddison can rightly claim to be daredevil worldrecord holder for distance jumps on 125cc and 250cc motorcycles and FMX kingpin to thousands of fans back in Australia, but after a 2009 season in which he finished runner-up to close friend Nate Adams in the Red Bull X-Fighters World Series, he’s vowed to put record attempts on hold in 2010 as he pursues the ultimate goal – a Red Bull X-Fighters title. Maddo's made a good start too, battling for big points throughout the first half of the season and showing once again that he’s a force to be reckoned with.  

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AIR CRAFT

3 > P OP -UP BARS

Freestyle asks a lot of a motorcycle, so to cope with the trickery, riders make small but critical modifications

These are flip-up bars that, when extended, sit perpendicular to the handlebars. During some tricks, these are crucial for the rider to balance his arms against. Essential, to carry out many tricks.

4 5 3

5 > HA N DLEBARS

4 > STE E R I NG STA BI LI S ER

FMX riders opt for widerthan-standard bars, making the bike easier to grab and manipulate. They prefer bars with a deeper bend and no top cross-brace, for tricks such as the Dead Body. With no crossbar, handlebars are often thicker and more rigid than usual.

The handlebars’ dial sets the rigidity of steering. For some tricks, it’s vital that steering stays in a straight line when hands are off the bars.

2 > FORKS/NUMB ERP L AT ES 2

A lot of riders cut the numberplates to fix on grip tape or simply add grip tape to the forks. This helps, during tricks such as the Cliffhanger, to clamp their feet to the forks.

7 6

1

8 1 > F RONT F ENDER

No major adaptation here,just a shorter front fender for purely aesthetic reasons.

6 > S EAT

Part of the foam beneath the seat’s covering is removed to give riders more room when performing tricks such as No-Foot Cans, and to reduce the danger of riders getting tangled up in mid-air.

9 10

7 > REAR FE N DER

Many riders shorten this for better control of the back end of the bike and to facilitate more tricks.

Most riders create handholds by cutting into the plastic coverings just beneath the seat. This may also mean the subframe needs cutting and re-welding to give space to perform seat-grab tricks such as the Superman Seat Grab, etc.

9 > FO OTPEGS

Most riders opt for wider footpegs so they have greater stability. They also help to distribute the force of impact across the foot, making landings less painful.

10 > UNDERCARRIAGE

Includes forks and shocks. These are specially adjusted to cope with bone-jarring landings, especially when riders miscalculate distances.

Illustration: russell bell

8 > HA ND HO LD S


RED BULL X-FIGHTERS / MADRID

MADRID / RED BULL X-FIGHTERS

Course of action

dane herron Getting started: Shared a house with freestyle riders and built tracks around San Diego for them to ride The big break: Designed and constructed first official track in Massachusetts for the 1999 Summer X-Games In his blood: He has been riding dirt bikes since he was five –that’s almost 30 years

To stage a Red Bull X-Fighters event, the riders need a sandpit to play in. at the mAJORITY of the events, course designer Dane Herron is the man who provides it.

the US and we have seven or eight local guys on a crew helping and then some guys from Red Bull helping us out so usually there are about 10-15 people doing the work.

How much dirt do you actually have to ship in to build something like these arenas? In Moscow, there were 250 truck loads, which is equivalent to about 7,000 cubic yards, for Americans, and for the rest of you that’s about 5,000 cubic metres. Weight? I have no idea, thousands and thousands of tonnes of dirt.

How did you get involved in all of this? I grew up racing dirt bikes all over the US. I’ve been riding historical natural terrain spots like Ocotillo and Glamis (in California) my entire life. I know ’em like the back of my hand. I quit racing at age 18 or so and began working construction for Carl Scanlon. Carl, at the time, was building and maintaining Glen Helen (MotoX track) as well as other key tracks in southern California. I learned how to run heavy equipment while I was beginning to take on the freeriding and freestyle deal. I later moved into a house with (freestyle riders) Tommy Clowers and Jeff Tilton and began freeriding professionally in the late 1990s and the two went hand in hand. I had built a bunch of stuff for me, Clowers and Tilton. I was building SX tracks in the hills around San Diego wherever we could get away with them. Then, when the LXD FMX series was kicking off, Clowers and Tilton talked to the promoter (Tes Sewell) and told him I was their guy. With all my experience in construction is was a perfect match.

How many guys does an average course require? For Moscow I brought three of my guys from

Tell us a bit about course design for Red Bull X-Fighters, how does it come about? I start by measuring the floor, perimeter, etc, to

But how long in the planning from the time it was decided to go to Moscow? Months, literally it takes months. I think the first time I went there was April for a recce to have a look at the possible location, to get some ideas. From that point until event time it really is a case of, ‘Hey, we wanna do this, what do you think?’... ‘hey, we’d like to try this, is that possible here?’ A lot of negotiation goes on.

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PHOTOGRAPHY: Denis Klero/Red Bull Photofiles

How long does it take to build a Red Bull X-Fighters course? From start to finish, a course usually takes about ten days. That gives you some leeway for weather in case you have any delays or problems. In Moscow, though, it took a little bit longer because of the surface underneath. We had to put plastic sheeting down over the bricks and there were a lot of approvals that had to be got. So, ten days is about right.

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RED BULL X-FIGHTERS / MADRID

Mexico City ( Mexico)6TH Giza (Egypt) 6TH Moscow (Russia) 4TH

2010 rider s

2009 Results Mexico City (Mexico) 2ND Calgary (Canada) 2ND Fort Worth (USA) 4TH Madrid (Spain) 9TH London (UK) 7TH

Does limited space make it much more of a technical challenge for the riders? It pretty much becomes a two-jump, best trick competition rather than a fully expressive freestyle run. But it’s good to mix up the course types, it keeps everyone on their toes. Do riders have much input? In Moscow, they seemed to give you lots of feedback and the course changed a bit as a result. That was the first dirt course of the season, so everybody was a little nervous with the big jumps, big course, etc. Pretty much at all the places we go the riders take a run at it and give us some feedback and we’ll make adjustments, we’re more than happy to do that.

Final Overall Position: 3RD

Do you look after other parts of the venue, or just what happens on the dirt? Technically, the course is my baby, but with my event experience and through some of the stuff I’ve done with Red Bull over the years I help out where I can! We bounce ideas off each other a lot. Usually some things just need to get done and you help out where needed. At the events people often have a hard time understanding where everything goes and what it does you need to be available to help. Red Bull X-Fighters has been to some pretty amazing locations. If you had your wish, where would the series head to next? Honestly, Giza was the one for me. That was the most amazing thing. I had to pinch myself every day I was there. You’d look up and think, ‘I’m building motorcycle jumps a stone’s throw away from the Sphinx’. It was an incredible thing. Then again, a month later and we were in Russia on Red Square – that was pretty incredible. And the more I learned about the history of Russia and the place we were building the course at, the more amazing it became. It doesn’t get much better.

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2010 Results

PHOTOGRAPHY: Balazs Gardi for Global-newsroom

What about the space you need. It varies greatly doesn’t it from the bigger setting in Moscow to the super tight confines of Giza. Oh yeah, space is always the kicker. In Giza we took what little space we had and obviously we weren’t allowed to use any of the dirt because of the ruins, and that was really tight. In Moscow it was much better, though still difficult because it ran downhill. That’s always the hardest for the riders, jumping downhill, because the landings become that much

smaller, there’s more velocity. It’s tricky. The ideal freestyle motocross arena is about 300 x 300 feet, about 100x100 metres. Texas last year was about the perfect size. Giza was 120 metres long but only about 50 metres wide – just about wide enough for two jumps. Very small. But we made it work!

PHOTOGRAPHY: Balazs Gardi for Global-Newsroom

get an idea of how much space there is to work with. At that point I can begin the design process. Everything else hinges on those dimensions and design. In Moscow, for example, we had a good-sized space so we had about ten defined jumps there plus some transitions, some things that add to the creativity, give the riders something to play with. There were four metal ramps on the course. Two of them have what’s called an eight-metre radius transition, which means they’re a little steeper than the other two which are nine-metre radius transition, they’re a little longer and a little more shallow in the arc – not quite as steep. They’re all set at different distances to give a different challenge to each.

MADRID / RED BULL X-FIGHTERS

eigo sato Nickname / sato Nationality / JapanESE Date of Birth / October 30, 1978 BikE / Yamaha YZ250 Eigo had his best-ever season of Red Bull X-Fighters competition last year. Back-to-back second places in the opening two rounds and consistent performances thereafter put him in contention for the overall title, right up until the finale in London. It wasn’t to be, though, as he was pipped at the post by Nate Adams. That result has now given him an even greater appetite for victory and after bringing his spectacular new trick ‘The Aeroplane’ to the party, Eigo looks set to once again fly into the fight for the series crown.  

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MADRID / RED BULL X-FIGHTERS

PHOTOGRAPHY: Joerg Mitter for Global-Newsroom

2010 rider s

DANY TORRES 2010 Results Mexico City( Mexico)4th Giza(Egypt) DNS Moscow(Russia) 6th 2009 Results Mexico City /Mexico 9th Calgary / Canada DNS Fort Worth / USA 8th Madrid / Spain 1st London / UK 3rd Final Overall Position 5th

Nickname / DT Nationality / SpaNISH Date of Birth / March 10, 1987 Bike / KTM 250SX After an injury-plagued start to 2009, DT returned to form at his home event in Madrid last year, putting on a perfect show of trick style and execution to take his first win since Poland in 2008. He carried that form over to this season with fourth in Mexico, but a wrist injury sustained in pre-season hampered him and he was forced to sit out Giza. He returned for the Moscow round and tonight will be looking to seal back-to-back home wins at the Plaza de Toros de las Ventas.  

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RED BULL X-FIGHTERS / MADRID

MADRID / RED BULL X-FIGHTERS

TRICK BAG

DEAD BODY 

A Dead Body consists of the rider taking his feet off the pegs and extending his legs through the arms and up over the handlebars. Once in this position, the rider straightens his body completely.

The riders have a vast catalogue of gravitydefying tricks at their disposal. Here’s a quick quide to just a few to look out for tonight…

H A R T A T TA C K 

Named after Carey Hart, the first rider to perform the trick, the Hart Attack, is performed with both legs pointing straight up in the air. One hand is positioned as if performing a handstand on the seat, while the other holds on to it. If the rider’s face is facing backwards then the trick is called a Lookback Hart Attack. Some riders add an ‘Indy’ (as shown), where the rider kicks his legs in a cycling motion during the trick, to score extra points.

WHIP 

A Whip is when the rider kicks the bike sideways in the air so that it flips out to at least a 90° angle to the rider before being straightened out for the landing.

34 

RULER 

Illustratinos: russell bell

S U P E R F L I P ( S U P E R M A N B A C K F L I P)  The rider does a Backflip, lets go of the bike with both feet and then kicks them straight back. Riders score bigger execution marks by getting further away from the bike. The biggest problem here is getting back onto your feet against the rotation. That’s why many riders mount special Flip-Levers in front of the handlebars in order to exert counter-pressure.

The Ruler is one of the harder tricks on Tour, relying on a great deal of strength and balance to get just right. The rider comes off the ramp and, holding the bars, launches his body upwards, his feet pointing to the sky. simultaneously he must push down the back of the bike so that the rear fender points towards the circuit. With back and bike pointing to 12 o’clock and six o’clock respectively you get The Ruler.

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RED BULL X-FIGHTERS / MADRID

MADRID / RED BULL X-FIGHTERS

TSUNAMI 

CLIFFHANGER 

The rider leaves the bike, then catches the underside of the handlebars with his toes. Most riders nowadays perform the trick slightly differently to the original trick. They also catch the bike with the inside of their foot at the fork for better control. The hands are raised above the head and the rider tries to lift his body as far away from the bike as possible.

Similar to a handstand in the air performed over the front of the handlebars while trying to keep the bike horizontal and level.

LAZYBOY 

The Lazyboy is a variant of the Coffin trick (which is performed by extending the legs out in front of the bike and below the handlebars and leaning back on the seat as far as possible). For the Lazyboy the rider lets go of the handlebars and extends his arms back over his head. The further a rider extends his arms and legs, the more points he will score.

K I SS O F D E AT H 

The rider performs a handstand on the bike and eventually lowers his head to the front fender as if to kiss it while still upside down.

Similar to a Superman Double Grab, where the rider takes his feet off the bike and straightens his body away from it, just holding onto the handlebars, but this time the rider releases his hands sideways from the bars. For a moment he’s totally detached from the bike and flies above it. The rider then catches his bike using the grab-holes to pull himself back onto the saddle.

36 

Illustratinos: russell bell

ROCK SOLID 

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MADRID / RED BULL X-FIGHTERS

“there’s some great young talent out there that’s not yet globally known”

WALK ON THE WILD SIDE Madrid gets a new competition format this time out, with an all-new wild cards shoot-out. Sporting director tes sewell explains how it works....

Madrid’s traditional two-day competition is undergoing a major change this year, with the best trick competition, normally held on the Thursday of the event, set aside in favour of an exciting new Wild Card competition. As Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour Sporting Director Tes Sewell explains: “It’s relatively simple, we’re inviting some of the best talents that don’t normally get the chance to compete 38 

at this level. We’ll run it in the same format as a normal qualifying round with each rider getting two 90-second runs and the top-scoring guy will move on to Friday night’s main event. There’s some great young talent out that’s not yet globally known.” Six invited riders will take to the arena on Thursday in Madrid with the highest scored rider advancing not just to the opening round of the main event but, with his score being slotted into the regular riders’ qualifying shakeup, possibly jumping straight through to the head-to-head rounds. Sewell is confident the invited riders have the chops to compete. “So far, we have pencilled in Lance Coury and Robbie Adelberg and then we have Maikel Melero from Spain and from Australia, Clinton Moore. The last two we haven’t decided on yet but we have some ideas. These are some talented guys. All of them have what it takes but just haven’t had a chance to show it on the

PHOTOGRAPHY: flohagena.com for global-newsroom, joerg mitter for global-newsroom

Lance Coury

Robbie Adelberg

biggest stages. Lance certainly has proved he’s got what it takes and Robbie Adelberg is riding really well at the moment. Clinton Moore, too, could be quite special. He does lots of body varials which are really exciting to watch.” Sewell also believes that giving new talent a stage on which to showcase their talents fits the Red Bull X-Fighters ethos perfectly and says the Madrid Wild Card competition represents the ideal opportunity for FMX to establish a clear route to bigger and better things for the sport’s younger stars. “Most of these guys are under 20 years old and there’s no pathway in FMX for them,” he says. “There’s no system, as you have in any other sports, whereby kids come up from youth and have a clear route to the top to aim at. As a community we’re starting to realise that we really need to nurture young talent and give these guys an opportunity, in a relatively safe environment, to showcase their skills.”  

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MADRID / RED BULL X-FIGHTERS

2010 riders

cameron sinclair Nickname / SINCS Nationality / AUSTRALIAN Date of Birth / APRIL 12, 1984 Bike / YAMAHA YZ250

wild card

Invited to ride the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour in 2009, Sincs made a huge impact, becoming the first rider to land a Double Backflip in competition when he nailed the trick in Fort Worth. However, just a few weeks later the same trick went wrong. He under-rotated in Madrid and crashed. Cam showed true Aussie grit to recover in double-quick time and made his comeback in Mexico this year. 2010 Results Mexico City ( Mexico)11TH Moscow (Russia) 8TH 2009 Results Mexico City( Mexico)4TH Fort Worth (USA) 3RD Madrid (Spain) 5TH

2010 Results Mexico City ( Mexico) 7TH Giza (Eygpt) 5TH Moscow (Russia) 1ST 2009 Results Mexico City( Mexico)1ST Calgary (Canada) 7TH Fort Worth (USA) DNS Madrid (Spain) DNS London (UK) 2ND Final Overall Position:6TH 40 

LEVI SHERWOOD Nickname / Rubber Kid Nationality / New Zealand Date of Birth / October 22, 1991 Bike / KTM 250 SX Prior to his Red Bull X-Fighters debut in Mexico last year, Levi reckoned the call-up made him as happy as “a fat kid in a doughnut shop”. A year on from his spectacular first win there, the New Zealander has made a good start to 2010, landing solid results in each of the three rounds so far. Levi reckons there’s more to come, though, and with some new tricks in the planning stages, Madrid’s Plaza de Toros de las Ventas could be the venue where the Rubber Kid finally bounces into title contention.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Garth Milan/Red Bull Photofiles; illustrations: adam carbajal

Final Overall Position:8TH

wiladrd c WILD CARD Shoot-out!

?

The remaining Wild Card entry in Madrid will be decided in a unique new way – six of the world’s finest young talents being invited to compete on the Thursday of the event for a starting place in the main event! The thrilling shoot-out will be run in the same format as normal qualifying, each rider getting two 90-second runs, with the top-ranked newcomer’s score also figuring among the regular qualifiers’ scores. That means that the possibility exists that the latest Red Bull X-Fighters Wild Card could even make it straight through to the head-to-head rounds if he scores well enough in the Wild Card session. It’s going to be a wild ride for one lucky young star!  

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RED BULL X-FIGHTERS / MADRID

MADRID / RED BULL X-FIGHTERS

say hello to the remaining riders who will tonight go wild in mADRID in pursuit of red bull x-fighters glory Remi Bizouard NICKNAME / NONE Nationality / France DOB / June 11 1986 Bike / Yamaha YZ250 From Bergerac in France, Remi’s already taken one big win this year, at the IFMXF round in Berlin, and will be looking to add a good showing at Red Bull X-Fighters to his growing portfolio of excellent results. A few years ago a young Remi admitted that Red Bull X-Fighters was a dream, saying: “When you hear the Spanish people scream, they give you wings!” Well, the dream is now real and Remi is sure to grab the chance with both hands.

42 

adam jones Nickname / none Nationality / USA DOB / JUly 23, 1984 Bike / YAmaha YZ250 The first rider to land a Cordova Flip in competition Adam is one of the top FMX riders in the world. An X-Games gold medallist in 2007, he’s won pretty much every major event he’s competed in at least once. The only trophy missing from his cabinet was a Red Bull X-Fighters win and he scored that in Giza. They say the first one’s the hardest so expect Jones to now become a major contender.

Andre Villa NICKNAME / NONE Nationality / Norway DOB / April 27, 1982 Bike / Yamaha YZ250 Like most riders Andre began his career in MX but had to quit in 2000 following an injury. It didn’t prevent what he calls ‘play-riding’ and in 2003 he began translating that into a full-time FMX career (as well as turning pro in freestyle skiing!). He last year rode the full X-Fighters World Tour, with encouraging results and then, to up his game this time out, he relocated temporarily to Temecula, California, the home of FMX. The big move seems to have worked as, heading to Madrid, Andre, with a win in Mexico and podiums in Giza and Moscow, still heads the Tour leaderboard.

Jeremy Stenberg Nickname / Twitch Nationality / USA DOB / September 27, 1981 Bike / Kawasaki KX450F Always one of the most popular competitors in the riders’ area, Twitch returns to Red Bull X-Fighters for the first time this year after taking part in all but one of last year’s rounds. The Californian finished the Tour in seventh overall last year but probably deserved better. A new bike could be the thing that propels him back to the top.

PHOTOGRAPHY: flohagena.com for global-newsroom, joerg mitter for global-newsroom

ranking file


RED BULL X-FIGHTERS / MADRID

MADRID / RED BULL X-FIGHTERS

THE RULES

follow THE FIGHT TO BE the RED BULL X-FIGHTERs TOUR CHAMPION 2010!

QUARTER-FINALS

SEMI-FINALS

FINAL

Head to head

Head to head

Head to head

HEAT 1

WINNER

WINNER

RIDER Q5

HEAT 1

SEMI-FINAL 1

Rider Q2

RIDER Q4

HEAT 4

SEMI-FINAL 2

Rider Q3

HEAT 2

WINNER

RIDER Q6

HEAT 2

RIDER Q3

HEAT 3

vs

vs

Rider Q4 Rider Q5 Rider Q6 Rider Q7

RIDER 1 R1

Rider 1 R1

HEAT 4

Rider Q8

Rider 2 R1

Rider Q9

Rider 3 R1

Q9 Rider Q10

Rider 3 4 R1

Rider Q12

Rider 5 R1 Rider 6 R1

vs

vs

HEAT 3

Top six qualifiers progress straight to Quarter-Finals

vs

RIDER Q2

RIDER 2 R1

Rider Q11

vs

vs

RIDER Q1

WORLD TOUR At each Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour stop, 100 points are awarded for first place, 80 for second, 65 for third, down to 5 points for 12th place. Riders have the chance to discard their lowest single Tour stop score under the Throw Out Rule, with the remaining stops totalled to give an adjusted points score prior to the start of the final competition. The overall winner of the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour 2010 is the rider with the highest number of points after the final stop of the season.

Points system 1st

100

5th

45

9th

20

2nd

80

6th

35

10th

15

3rd

65

7th

30

11th

10

4th

55

8th

25

12th

5

Each World Tour stop comprises three days: Day One (rider briefing and training), Day Two (training and qualification), and Day Three (training and main competition). Following qualification, the riders compete in Round One in reverse ranking order, with the top six ranked riders from qualifying sitting out Round One and automatically progressing to the Quarter Finals. During Round One, each rider has one 90-second run to impress the panel of Judges led by the Head Judge. The top two riders from Round One progress to the Quarter Finals where they are awarded seed #7 and #8 respectively and compete against the top six from qualifying. The Quarter Finals are head-to-head elimination rounds for the top-seeded eight riders. The riders are paired up in the heats (shown in the table). In each heat, the lowerranked rider will ride first. A panel of five Judges, led by the Head Judge, will award each rider a score and the winner of each heat progresses to the Semi Finals. The Semi Finals pit the winners from the Quarter Finals against each other.  

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PHOTOGRAPHY: Joerg MItter/Red Bull Photofiles

ROUND 1 1 run of 90 sec (Qualifying ranks 7-12)

Rider Q1

44 

RULES

Qualifying 2 runs of 90 sec (12 riders)


RED BULL X-FIGHTERS / MADRID

RIDERS The number of starters at each Red Bull X-Fighters event is limited to 12. Six of the 12 are pre-qualified for each event, based on the final standings from 2009. Four of the remaining places are awarded based on the ranking from the previous round, so tonight’s action is bound to be just as intense as at the last round in Moscow, where New Zealander Levi Sherwood scored his first win of the year. The final two spots are reserved for the wild cards – riders the organisers believe will bring something unique to each event.

JUDGING There are five Judges on hand at each Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour event, with each one responsible for judging different criteria, and all are presided over by a Head Judge. Judge 1 / Variety

This Judge is responsible for marking the riders on the range of tricks they bring to each run, based on a number of trick categories. Judge 2 / Challenge and Execution Has responsibility for

THE venue THE MADRID COURSE The course at the spiritual home of Red Bull X-Fighters is not the smallest on the 2010 calendar (that honour went to Giza) but still presents a tricky job for the designers. Even loading the 2,000 tonnes of dirt into the arena is difficult – the entrances are too low for heavy machinery and construction has to be completed using small diggers.

FRIENDS OF RED BULL ‘PALCOS’

ENTRANCE FRIENDS OF RED BULL ‘SALA ALCALA’

ENTRANCE

The course is similar to last year and features three kickers plus ramps for more complex jumps such as the demanding Double Backflip, should anyone be brave enough to try one. As the riders will testify, the intense atmosphere created by having the crowd in such close proximity makes Las Ventas a truly special arena. The fans’ enthusiasm brings out the riders’ inner showmen, so the big air ramps are the most used whenever Red Bull X-Fighters returns to Madrid. PHOTOGRAPHY: EyesWideOpen/Getty Images; ILlustartion: Mandy Fischer

RULES continued

MADRID / RED BULL X-FIGHTERS

assessing the level of difficulty of each trick and how well the tricks are performed. Judge 3 / Style Here the rider is judged on the rhythm of his run and synergy with the course and bike, both on the ground and in the air.

Judge 5 / Show and Spectator reaction This Judge rules on how the

rider’s ability to demonstrate the most energetic, exciting and entertaining run, impacts on the audience.

Head Judge / Responsible for judging the overall impression of the run. 46 

PHOTOGRAPHY / Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Judge 4 / Use of Course

Here the rider is assessed on how he utilises the whole course in order to show off his skills.

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RED BULL X-FIGHTERS / MADRID

MADRID / RED BULL X-FIGHTERS

RESULTS

Currently number one in the riders’ standings, Norway’s Andre Villa shows how it’s done as he flips across the Red Square skyline

with half the 2010 series under their belts, the riders rev up for MORE mayhem in madrid. villa hAs the lead But the destroyer is on his tail...

1 MEXICO CITY

3 MOSCOW

Mexico City Result

Moscow Result

01 Levi Sherwood (NZ) 02 Nate Adams (USA) 03 Andre Villa (NOR) 04 Eigo Sato (JAP) 05 Robbie Maddison (AUS) 06 Dany Torres (ESP) 07 Adam Jones (USA) 08 Cameron Sinclair (AUS) 09 Jim McNeil (USA) 10 Mat Rebeaud (SUI)

2 GIZA

STANDINGS

Giza Result

PHOTOGRAPHY: Andreas Schaad for Global-Newsroom

Points

01 Andre Villa (NOR) 100 02 Nate Adams (USA) 80 03 Robbie Maddison (AUS) 65 04 Dany Torres (ESP) 55 05 Jim McNeil (USA) 45 06 Eigo Sato (JAP) 35 07 Levi Sherwood (NZ) 30 08 Adam Jones (USA) 25 09 Charles Pagès (FRA) 20 10 Blake Williams (AUS) 15

Points

01 Adam Jones (USA) 100 02 Andre Villa (NOR) 80 03 Nate Adams (USA) 65 04 Robbie Maddison (AUS) 55 05 Levi Sherwood (NZ) 45 06 Eigo Sato (JAP) 35 07 Jim McNeil (USA) 30 08 Libor Podmol (CZE) 25 09 Lance Coury (USA) 20 10 Daice Suzuki (JAP) 15

48 

Overall Standings

01 Andre Villa (NOR) 02 Nate Adams (USA) 03 Levi Sherwood (NZ) 04 Robbie Maddison (AUS) 05 Adam Jones (USA) 06 Eigo Sato (JAP) 07 Jim McNeil (USA) 08 Dany Torres (ESP) 09 Cameron Sinclair (AUS) 10 Libor Podmol (CZE)

Points

100 80 65 55 45 35 30 25 20 15

Points

245 225 175 165 155 125 95 90 35 20

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Mexico City Mexico / April 16 Giza Egypt / May 14 Moscow Russia / June 26 Madrid Spain / July 22 / 23 London ENgland / August 14 Rome Italy / October 1 NEXT STOP:

LONDON

Imprint red bull x-fighters magazine # 4 / 2010 / madrid Publisher Red Bull GmbH, Am Brunnen 1, A-5330 Fuschl am See Produced By Red Bulletin, Heinrich-CollinStr.1, A-1140 Vienna, www.redbulletin.com Printed By Offset 5020, A-5072 Siezenheim media Contact media@redbullxfighters.com Visit www.redbullxfighters.com

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PHOTOGRAPHY: mike smith for global-newsroom

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Red Bull X-Fighters Mag - Madrid 2010