X-Fighters adds Munich and Pretoria in 2014
French rider Tom Pagès will defend his Red Bull X-Fighters title during a five-stop 2014 World Tour that includes a visit to Munich, at the Olympiapark venue where X Games was held in June.
The series concludes on Aug. 23 in Pretoria, South Africa, where last year's finale was canceled due to location issues that have since been sorted out, according to Red Bull Motorsports spokesman Scott Houston. There are no U.S. dates on the tour, after a two-year run at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, Calif.
"We're looking forward to a spectacular finale at our first-ever African event," Houston told XGames.com following Tuesday's schedule announcement.
The X-Fighters 2014 World Tour will open on March 14 with a return to Mexico City's Monumental Plaza de Toros, a historic bullfighting venue that accommodates 42,000 fans and has hosted X-Fighters battles seven times in the series' 14-year history, including last year's series opener. The tour returns to Osaka, Japan, and to Madrid at the iconic Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas bullfighting ring that has been the X-Fighters tour's signature venue since 2002. Pagès won there in 2013, securing his first championship title.
After a winning run in Madrid that included a 540 flair, a volt body varial and Pagès' signature Special Flip -- as well as a ruler flip combo that was one of the only backflip variations Pagès has attempted in recent competition -- he implied he'd been holding back on an even deeper bag of tricks.
"The good thing is I was focusing on the championship this year so I was not bringing every trick tonight, so next year will be a lot more fun," Pagès said at the time.
The 2013 tour boasted a deep international field of riders including Spain's Dany Torres, Japan's Taka Higashino, Australia's rider Rob Adelberg, New Zealand's Levi Sherwood, Chile's rider Javier Villegas and France's David Rinaldo -- the current leader on the 2013 FIM Freestyle MX World Championship series. Riders for the 2014 tour have yet to be announced.
Local riders at each of the stops will have opportunities to compete for wildcard slots in front of their home crowds; over the last 14 years these X-Fighters qualifying events have helped surface many of the international riders now competing on the tour and at X Games.