Sports » Features

Red Bull Elevation a long time coming

‘First of its kind’ event designed to reflect progression of BMX jumping



At 34 years old, Coquitlam’s Jay Miron has very little to prove in the world of BMX biking. He’s personally invented over 30 tricks in vert ramps and park, including a double backflip and backflip variations. He also has nine X Games medals to his credit, as well as podiums in just about every pro contest from the ’80s, ’90s and 2000s.

Still, Miron is not resting on his accomplishments, either on his bike or as an entrepreneur with MacNeil Bikes and Ten Pack Distribution. Lately Miron has taken it upon himself to redefine his sport by creating a contest that will give the top riders in the sport an opportunity to show just how far the sport has progressed.

This weekend, Aug. 25-27, Miron is producing the inaugural Red Bull Elevation BMX dirt jump competition, which will take place at the base of Whistler Mountain. The course took weeks to build and shape, with more than 50,000 cubic feet of dirt and 15,000 pounds of supporting concrete going to create two unique lines. The final jump will transition right into the village itself.

Red Bull put up a $30,000 prize purse for the event, but most riders are coming for one reason only – to ride a course that’s bigger, burlier, and more rider friendly than anything they’ve ever seen before.

"I got the idea at the second X-Games when I was sitting at the gate and not having any fun," said Miron.

"I came up with an idea for a different kind of contest that would be better for the riders.

"Nobody really had faith in the idea… but when Red Bull came to Canada I went to them with it and they were able to support me. Thanks to them we’re going to pull it off, it’s all going to happen."

While the X-Games and Gravity Games courses were fun to ride, Miron found that the layout of the jumps lacked flow and limited the kinds of tricks that the riders could pull off. The Whistler course is modeled after the courses that the riders themselves choose to build, using downhill slopes to build and carry more speed into the jumps. There are also two distinct lines for different styles of riding.

"I think BMX has been stuck in a rut for the last couple of years, maybe eight years or so," said Miron. "The sport has progressed but the competitions are really the same old thing and it’s really holding back these top riders… from laying it down and doing their best stuff.

"I always wanted to give the best riders in the world the best place to do the best riding they can do, and I think we’ve achieved that with Red Bull Elevation."