History since 2001
In 2001 the people of Riesa in Germany’s east were treated to the humble beginning of what would soon become a global juggernaut. The best FMX riders at the time were brought together at Arena Riesa and put on a show that still sticks in the memory of those who attended. Since then, the NIGHT of the JUMPs has put on over 300 shows across 4 continents and has morphed into the most extreme freestyle motocross tour in the world and became the measure of all things sporting in the world of FMX.
The competition grew quickly in the decade following, with riders and operators alike impressed with the level of professionalism and the interest from cities and countries around the world in FMX. By 2004 NIGHT of the JUMPs had already made a name for itself in Europe holding events in Austria, France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and even held its inaugural African event in Namibia.
The growing success brought the attention and recognition of the FIM and with it NIGHT of the JUMPs became the Official Freestyle Motocross World Championship in 2006. Swiss rider Mat Rebeaud took out the championship in its inaugural year, followed by Norwegian Ailo Gaup in 2007 before Frenchman Remi Bizouard crashes the scene going back-to-back in 2008 and 2009 and Czech rider Libor Podmol takes the honours in 2010.
As the World Championship gained momentum and became known as the premier FMX series the number of spectators as well as sponsors injected money into the competition and allowed the opportunity to invest in new technology and further develop the spectator experience and the sport. With this, the quality of the riders field continued to be developed with new talent being discovered across the globe.
The introduction of pre-qualification rounds and special guest appearances continue to provide the next generation of riders with the opportunity to prove themselves on the big stage. 2010 World Champion Libor Podmol from the Czech Republic and Spaniard Maikel Melero are the best examples having gone through this ‘hard’ school process and coming up out on top. 2013 World Champion David Rinaldo is another example, having been an injury replacement for compatriot Brice Izzo in 2010 before wowing the crowd and the judges with his amazing extension and trick repertoire and later earning a place on tour.
The riders are the ultimate professionals and train every day with personal trainers, fitness staff, dietitians and FMX experts in order to gain even the slightest edge against their opponents. New tricks are first attempted into the “foam pit” (a kind of pool that is filled with foam cubes) to help reduce injury, before bravery and commitment take over and the tricks are attempted to “Dirt”. It doesn’t always end well, but to gain an edge the athletes must continually attempt what was originally thought impossible in order to taste World Championship glory.
Along with the sport and the riders the logistics of running such mammoth events have also constantly evolved over the journey with around 180 people working behind the scenes to make it possible such as light and pyrotechnic technicians, directors, judges, cameramen, photographers, truckers and ambulance workers just to name a few. What began with two 7.5t vans in 2001 is now five articulated trucks throughout the world which are supported by an a huge fleet of mid-to-large size transport vehicles.
The NIGHT of the JUMPs continues to epitomize international action sport events and has been entertaining people and families for almost 2 decades. To see the NIGHT of the JUMPs up close and personal head to nightofthejumps.com for tickets.