- Title: EGYPT: Motorcycle stuntmen wow crowds near Egyptian pyramids
- Date: 13th April 2009
- Summary: CAIRO, EGYPT (APRIL 10, 2009) (REUTERS) WIDE OF PYRAMIDS VARIOUS OF RED BULL TEAM SEATED BENEATH TENT NEAR THEIR MOTORCYCLES
- Embargoed: 28th April 2009 13:00
- Location: Egypt
- Country: Egypt
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVADK3PBIAKOKQHGPRT7R7GLTXHE
- Story Text: A crowd of several thousand turned out at the world famous Giza pyramids Friday (April 10) to watch a daring display of motorcycle jumping, as the Red Bull X Fighters made their debut in Egypt.
The Red Bull riders usually compete with each other, but came together to put on a show of motocross-freestyle stunt jumping for the awestruck crowd.
Preparations for the show, which took place with the Giza pyramids panorama as a backdrop, began early on Friday and the riders warmed up and practised jumping for a small crowd that arrived early.
Belgian rider Jimmy Verbugh said that while his chosen profession is dangerous, the excitement it gives spectators makes it all worthwhile.
"Yeah, it's very dangerous, it's one of the most dangerous sports in the world, so but yeah, I like it very much. I'll keep enjoying the crowds, as long as they are happy we are happy also," he said.
British rider Chris Birch, the youngest of the riders at 24, said that he never thought he would have the opportunity to perform in such a spectacular setting.
"I'm honoured to be here. I'm honoured to be here for Red Bull, to ride here, to be one of the first four guys ever to ride, do anything like this, especially here in Giza in front of the Pyramids. It's like, I would never have thought this would ever happen or that I would be involved and I am so, like I said, I'm honoured," he said.
The show at the pyramids is part of a warm up for a full world tour that the X-Fighters are planning for 2010.
The X-Fighters practice Motocross-Freestyle, or FMX, which involve long jumps of over 60 feet (about 20 meters) in which the riders are judged on the complexity and technique of their mid-air stunts.
The motocross bikes used in FMX are modified to make them lighter and easier to perform tricks on.
The competitors choose from a variety of well known tricks like the backflip, in which the rider rotates the bike full circle mid-air, or the tsunami in which the rider pulls the bike and their body upwards vertically and the curls their legs over to resemble a curling wave.
The stunned crowd of thousands at the pyramids were treated to similar tricks and a new trick, thought up for the occasion, called the "Pharaoh".
The Red Bull X Fighters are, along with the X Games, considered to be the most important Motocross Freestyle competitions.
The world's best FMX riders have been competing at the Red Bull events, sponsored by the well-known energy boosting drink of the same name, since 2001, when it was first held in the bullfighting arena in Valencia, Spain.
After the success of this weekend's showcase event at the pyramids, the organisers say that a larger, genuine competition is planned in front of the Pyramids near the Sphinx.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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