Swiss ace wows sell-out crowd in Mexico City
SWISS RIDER Mat Rebeaud soared high to take the title at the inaugural event
of the Red Bull X-Fighters 2008 at the sold-out Monumental Plaza de Toros in
Mexico City at the weekend.
The 2006 Mexico City champion overcame Spain's
Dany Torres after a memorable battle in the final. American Jeremy Lusk
grabbed third place in the world's premier freestyle motocross series.
The night belonged to Rebeaud, who delivered a perfect combination of
showmanship, acrobatics and an array of perfectly executed tricks.
"That was just incredible, I'm over the moon!" said Rebeaud. "I want to
thank all the fans. Here in Mexico, everyone really lived the emotions, including
The 43,000 fans packed into the world's largest bullring were treated to a
non-stop feast of freestyle motocross action, with 12 of the world's best
riders, including Robbie Maddison (AUS), Eigo Sato (JAP), Busty Wolter (GER),
Giancarlo Bergamini (BRA), Alvaro Dal Farra (ITA), Petr Pilat (CZE) and Johan
Nungaray (MEX), reaching deep into their bags of tricks, including backflips,
whips, cliffhangers, lazy flips and much more in the historic venue.
After an impressive performance against American Jeremy "Twitch" Stenberg in
the semi-final, Rebeaud showed what his relentless training over the past
three months was for in the final, thrilling the passionate Mexican fans and
judges alike. Much like the matadors who battle the bulls on the plaza floor,
Torres put up an heroic fight, but ultimately had to congratulate the worthy
champion after the judges' decision.
"Rebeaud was just too good today," said Torres. "He's obviously put in a lot
of hard work and he surprised me today with a few tricks. All in all we're
at about the same level."
French rider Thomas Pages was lucky to escape relatively unscathed after
trying a high-risk backflip in the dying seconds of his 90-second quarter-final
run against Lusk, crashing heavily.
"My shoulder is black and blue and badly grazed, but I'll be back," Pages
asserted. "I want to get back on the bike as soon as possible."
The Mexico City victory gives the 26-year-old Swiss superstar an early lead
in the Red Bull X-Fighters 2008 series standings. The international FMX
series next visits the Sambadromo in Rio de Janeiro on May 3. The tour then makes
its first U.S. stop in Fort Worth, Texas on June 14, where FMX will meet
rodeo. It wraps up with European rounds in Wuppertal, Germany on July 4 and
Madrid, Spain on July 17-18.
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