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The Jimmy Verburgh Column
written by fmx4ever



For the 6th time in the history of FMX, my team has done a show in a country where there has never been FMX before. We were in Albania for a Red Bull X-Fighters promotion. It's safe to say it was a special experience.

It will come as no suprise when i say it wasn't easy to get in to the country with ramps, bikes, material and other stuff Broecky and Birch took with them from the Masters of Dirt in Salzburg to the Albanian border. After 17hours on the boat they reached Albania and.waited for 6 hours at the border. After a lot of patience and even more paperwork, they could get on the way to Tirana. The Fmx4ever truck had to spend one more night at the customs after that. people (and especially authoroties) in Albania aren't used to having this kind of transport on their roads. Hey wait.I'm not sure I can call those things over there roads. but anyway, the staff of Red Bull Albania came to the rescue, he
got the truck free from customs and nothing could stand in our way anymore. It helps to pull some strings when it's needed.In the end they took us to the most amazing places: dinner in restaurants with ministers, nightclubs, super.


On Friday we had our first show on the Mother Theresquare in Tirana. It was noon and I had been asking the guys from Red Bull if they thought a lot of people would show up on that early hour. Well, it was amazing. Once we started training, people started coming and in the end we jumped in front of 35.0000 people. It was crazy. We did 3 shows and in the end everybody was absolutely stoked. The crowd was all over us and we had to get police protection to get out.

First show over, one to go. At about 100 km from there. That means more than 2 hours driving over there. We arrived in a place called Shkodra and went straight to the hotel. Everything is closed there at 9 PM. And I mean everything! We did the show in the street in front of an ancient mosque. Cool location, maybe we should start thinking of Bagdad?

Anyway, here the crowd was a bit less dramatic. Maybe because.there were only men! Never seen that before and I've done a show or two in my life.But it was fun. Untill.during our show there was the huge explosion in Albania in a factory where they disarm bombs. 255 wounded, 7 dead. They closed down everything, even the roads. We were at 30 km of the capitol and we were stuck. Nowhere to go, we
couldn't move an inch. We were in the middle of nowhere in a small restaurant, together with the Red Bull staff. It was unreal. We were there for 7 hrs when we got the permission to start driving again.All the roads were still blocked but the big chief at Red Bull had arranged that we could pass all the control posts.


Anyway, Albania has been a real experience. And even more for Broecky and Birch. They got controlled at the Italian border and Broecky was even taken to the police station and the poor guy had to strip! But there was nothing to report and in the end he could just go on. Man, what a trip.

After that I took a week off to prepare the rest of the season. I went to see a Janez Deth show, Stefan Everts and Rui Goncalves where there too. They had spent two days at the Duinkerke track. A KTM training that payed off, as Tyla showed in the first GP's. He won ...

Meanwhile we've also taken our time to finish the FMX4Ever training facility. It looks amazing. Two big landings, 6 to 8 ramps, quarter pipe, foampit, dirt jumps.and we have a new rider in the team. The dutchman Norman Veerbeek, backed by KTM Holland. The flying dutchman can fly in FMX4Ever colours now. It's all great to have this happening.

Viva Mexico!

Last but not least i want to talk about the Red Bull X-Fighters in Mexico. I was there as one of the official judges. Everybody was super prepared for this year's event and my job as a Judge isn't getting any easier. The tricks are getting more and more technical and are executed with an amazing perfection. The topriders are so close, you really have to look at details to see the difference. Qualifying was amazing. In the final, the differences between the riders became more obvious. Robbie Madisson went out with bike problems, Thomas Pagés crashed after attempting the backflip double heart attack and Dani Torres made a mistake by doing a 'normal' backflip in his final run against Mat
Rebeaud. Mat hadn't ridden any demo's or competitions since our own Rock 'n Ride in December in Ghent and he showed up mega prepared. He worked hard and it paid off. He deserved the win.

After Mexico my agenda said, Istanbul and Rio. FMX meets samba. That has a nice ring to it, doesn't it.? Talk to you soon.

Keep it real.



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