Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour 2009

Three continents, six countries, 170,000 spectators and 1,130 jumps. Some facts about the second year of the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour in 2008. In 2009 the Tour is back better than ever before.

Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour 2009.  Foto: Stefan StauTaking sport to the next level and combining it with creative orchestration at iconic locations. That is the concept first implemented in the worldwide series in 2007 before the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour climbed to new heights in 2008 with spectacular contests in the bull fighting arenas of Mexico City and Madrid, the stone quarry of Wuppertal in Germany, the Sambadrome parade ground in Rio de Janeiro, a rodeo arena in Texas and a gigantic historic stadium in Warsaw, brought back to life for a day before being taken down by the wrecking ball.
 
Despite the breathtaking staging and spectacular shows, the sporting battles remained at the centre of attention and the dazzling competition is what left behind lasting memories around the world: Rebeaud’s incredible round in Texas with 10 backflips; the world’s first ever 540 by Sweden’s Fredrik Johansson in Madrid; Norwegian Andre Villa’s horrifying crash in Rio; and the thrilling come-from-behind challenge by young Spaniard Dany Torres, who crowned his strong season with a victory at the grand finale in Warsaw.
 
The third season kicks off with what has become a tradition – Mexico City – on 27 March. On Tuesday, FMX star Dany Torres and local Mexican rider Johan Nungaray sounded in the 2009 season with a spectacular demo on Mexico City’s main square, the Zocalo. After the traditional season opener in Mexico, the competition packs up and wanders north to Canada for the very first time, with the second stop of the season in Calgary (30 May) before moving back south to Texas for a return to Dallas/Fort Worth (27 June). The European leg of the tour starts with a double event in Madrid (16-17 July) and concludes in London on 22 August.
 
The successful ‘Rookies against Heroes’ format used last year has been developed further this year, according to the Tour’s sporting director, Tes Sewell,: “Instead of four top-seeded riders we’ll have eight this year who will duel it out with the local challengers and young rookies.“

As a tribute to FMX legend Jeremy Lusk, who died in an accident this year, his start number will be kept free for the first event of the season in Mexico City. The top riders for 2009 with the right to compete in all stops (with one throw-out result) of this year’s Tour are: last year’s champion Mat Rebeaud (SUI), Jeremy Stenberg (USA), world distance record holder Robbie Maddison (AUS), Dany Torres (ESP), Eigo Sato (JPN), Thomas Pagès (FRA) and Andre Villa (NOR). 
 
The expectations of defending champion Mat Rebeaud are high: “Breathtaking new jumps – it’s insane how fast the sport is growing.” His greatest challenger in 2009: “We’ll know more after the first training session in Mexico, but I would think it’s going to be Dany Torres – nobody improved as much as he did over the course of the last season!“

Steve Mini.  Copyright: Oliver Franke
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Red Bull X-Fighters in Mexico City.  Copyright: flohagena.com
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