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Elevation promises to be bigger, break new ground

BMX dirt jump contest brings out top names

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Last year’s highlight was James Foster landing the first triple tail whip, and some combination tricks that have never been put back to back before.

This year, partly driven by the existence of events like Red Bull Elevation, the riders have cranked it up another notch. Although it’s difficult to predict what the riders are going to be doing on any given day, Miron made a few predictions.

"I think we’re going to see double backflips, we’re going to see double trailwhip 360’s. Triple tailwhips will be somewhat common now, believe it or not. Front flip variations are now getting popular, a few guys are doing front flip tail whips. Anthony Napolitan has a front flip no-hander.

"It’s getting out of hand, the guys are going really big. All the tricks should be huge. Last year the jumps were really scary, but this year everything’s built perfectly. I’m completely satisfied we couldn’t have done a better job."

The athlete list was by invitation only. Miron and his team considered opening the event to qualifiers but given the size of the jumps they decided to stick with proven professionals. Even so, Miron says his phone has been ringing off the hook.

"I’ve gotten so many phone calls after last year’s event, I can’t even tell you, from all these weird promoters and sponsors wanting to be involved in the next event to riders and team managers wanting to get in," he said. "I think they saw that it wasn’t just another event."

BMX is growing in popularity. The introduction of skateparks has helped to grow the sport, as well as the interest in dirt jumping. Also, BMX is now an official Olympic sport for 2008.

It’s not quite where it was in the ’80s when everyone owned a BMX bike, but Miron says the sport is getting more popular all the time.

"I’m hearing from shops that sales are way up, our (bike) sales are way up, we’ve had record sales this year," he said. "It’s interesting, but one of the largest demographics we’re seeing are the 18 to 25 year old women. They’re really comfortable with the bikes; they’re low maintenance, and they’re fun to pedal around.

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