A mind-boggling 60-foot high "Step-Up" jump where Red Bull X-Fighters riders leap from the floor of a man-made dirt canyon to the windswept cliff above has made many of world's best freestyle motocross riders nervous ahead of the third stop of the 2013 World Tour on Saturday. But two fearless masters of the world's biggest FMX jump -- American Todd Potter and Australia's Rob Adelberg – want to be "King of the Hill".
"It's definitely one of the scariest jumps anywhere," said Adelberg, who broke his jaw while attempting a back flip up the Step Up jump in training last year but got his jaw fixed in time to back flip up the hill in the competition. "We don't have a jump like that anywhere to practice on. If something goes wrong, it's going to go terribly wrong. It looks scary but a lot of it is in the mind."
The Step Up is so scary that last year many riders including 2011 champion Dany Torres of Spain and 2012 champion Levi Sherwood of New Zealand quietly dropped it out of their runs. Those skipping the Step Up last year got penalized hard in the judging. Any riders falling just inches short of landing on the rim of the canyon could end up tumbling straight back down the hill. Adelberg crash-landed on the rim with his jaw hitting the ground first. "It fractured my jaw and separated my gum," he said. "But I stayed on top. I had to run all the way down the hill with a broken jaw. I could feel my jaw bouncing with each step."
Australia's Josh Sheehan doesn't even want to think about not making it to the top. "I think that would ruin you if you fell back down the Step Up," he said. "But it's fun and I love it. To hit it is really fun. It's the biggest jump I've ever done." Potter was the "King of the Hill" last year, winning the event with a bold run that included a crowd-pleasing back flip on the Step Up. The man from with the thick black beard from Temecula -- just 60 miles from Glen Helen -- is confident he can win in Glen Helen again this year on Saturday. "This is my type of riding - I love it," Potter said.
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