Whistler hosts a lot of events over the course of a year, but by all accounts the inaugural Red Bull Elevation BMX dirt jump contest held at the end of last summer was on another level entirely.
It was an event designed by an athlete, Coquitlams Jay Miron, for athletes that are considered the best in the world at their sport. The jumps were huge, varied, and constructed on an incline so that almost no pedalling was required between hits. It was the first contest of its kind, with a format that enabled riders to break out new tricks and try things that have never been tried before like James Foster making the first ever triple tail whip, and a variety of inverted and spinning tricks that had never been attempted back to back before. Mirons goal was to properly showcase the progression in the sport, something he says other events have not done, as well as to push things to another level. The consensus in the BMX world is that he succeeded.
And now The Red Bull Elevation is back. Construction on the jump site is underway, and by the time the first practice gets underway on June 29 there will be about 50,000 cubic feet of dirt and concrete at the base of Whistler Mountain.
Originally Miron was hoping to have an open qualifier, but given the size of the jumps and the relative danger he decided to keep it invite only. As it is, the best of the best will face off in a qualifier showdown on day two, Friday, June 30, from noon to 6 p.m. when judges Ryan Jordan, Matt Beringer and Dave Osato will narrow the field down to 20 riders for the final.
The final takes place on Canada Day, Saturday, July 1 from 2 to 5 p.m., coinciding with the end of the annual Canada Day Parade. The village should be packed with spectators for the event, but there are good viewing locations on all sides of the venue and, making things easier, most of the action will be taking place about 5-7 meters in the air.
Dates and times are subject to weather conditions.
This list of invited athletes was capped at 40, once again representing the best of the best in BMX dirt jumping. Over $30,000 in cash prizes will be awarded.
Athletes include Ryan Nyquist, whos defending his title from the first Red Bull Elevation, and X-Games title holder Corey Bohan. Other notables include Kye Forte, Cory Nastazio, Luke Parslow and Dusty Klatt.
The complete roster is Tim Fuzzy Hall, Justin Inman, Chris Doyle, James Foster, Ryan Guettler, Benny Korthaus, Romuald Noirot, Tony Cardona, T.J. Lavin, K.C. Badger, Steve McCann, Mike Aitken, Darin Read, Paul Kintner, Colin McKay, Gary Young, Michael "Hucker" Clark, Ryan Sher, Matt Beyers, Anthony Napolitan, Adam Baker, Heath Pinter, Rob Darden, Dave Dilleward, Brian Foster, Fernando Sabat, Kym Grosser, Lance Mosley, Cesar Flores, Brad Bonar, Allan Cooke, Sean Sexton, Alejandro Caro Ospina and Darren Berrecloth.
For more information on Red Bull Elevation visit www.redbullelevation.com.