Whips, flips and a ‘nitro bomb'

Sat, 19 Jan 2013 | Latest News
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Levi Sherwood (left) and Travis Pastrana high five as they sail past the Carisbrook crowd during the last Nitro Circus in Dunedin, in 2011. Photo Gerard O'Brien

Nitro Circus Live returns to Dunedin next week sporting a list of freestyle motocross, BMX and extreme sports stars almost as long the ramps used for their trademark tricks.

The show was last in Dunedin in February 2011 during a national tour which, according to organisers, was attended by about 100,000 people.

The last show was held at Carisbrook, but next Friday the multimillion­-dollar set, which includes the fearsome 16m-high gigant­a­ramp, will be under cover at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

The show features some of the world's top freestyle motocross riders from the United States, including Erik Roner, Special Greg, Streetbike Tommy and the only rider performing consistent double back flips, 13­time X Games medallist Nate Adams.

They will be joined by Australians Cam Sinclair, Blake Williams, Jarryd McNeil, Josh Sheehan, Steve Mini, Clinton Moore and New Zealand­based rider Luke Smith.

''For the 2013 NZ tour, we have assembled the strongest line­up of BMX riders we've ever seen. Each rider is a true innovator and who knows what new tricks they'll come up with once they're side by side and being egged on by 15,000 screaming Kiwi fans,'' Nitro Circus Live tour promoter Michael Porra said.

These top riders include BMX pioneer Chad Kagy (US), X­Games medallist and double front­flipping Australian Andy Buckworth, and regular triple back­flipper James Foster (US).

Organisers recently announced Taupo­-based rider Jed Mildon would join the New Zealand tour. In 2011, Mildon became the first person to land a triple backflip on a BMX; the footage became a YouTube sensation, attracting more than nine million views.

Mildon will be auditioning to take part in future Nitro Circus Live tours scheduled for Latin America, the US and Asia later in 2013.

''Being able to perform with Nitro Circus Live at home with all the crazy big­jump riders is the best opportunity.

''I think I'll do some flip tail whip variations and some double flips and it would be cool to combo them, too. The Kiwi crowds will make us go crazy. I'm stoked,'' he said.

Apart from the dirt bike and BMX aerial action, fans can expect to see kids' trikes, snow skis, Barbie cars, rubbish bins, chilly bins and more launched from the ramp as well as fan favourite, extreme wheelchair athlete Aaron ‘‘Wheelz'' Fotheringham (US).

The show features new choreographed riding displays, including the ‘‘Nitro Bomb'' combination train which sees 18 riders in different disciplines upside­ down at the same time.

- Sam Stevens