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First hits (and a terrifying crash) on the wild Hardline canyon gap

First hits (and a terrifying crash) on the wild Hardline canyon gap

After a quick stop in Maydena, Red Bull Hardline is back in Wales for its 10th anniversary. Course builders stepped up with a new course and it is receiving decidedly mixed reviews. One feature in particular is causing some commotion.

The feature everyone is talking about is a river crossing into a sizable rock drop that is the immediately dwarfed by a cartoonishly large ramp that sends riders flying over a very real canyon. The short landing zone immediately goes back uphill, leaving little room to come up short or overshoot. Oh, and there’s no safety net (But there are a couple pads, way down near the bottom of the canyon).

After some looking and measuring and talking, Bernard Kerr, who is gaining some notoriety as Red Bull’s de facto in-house guinea pig for scary features, was the first to make an attempt. The Pivot rider looked impressively clean on the legitimately scary feature.

Matt Jones was up next, and also made it look reasonably smooth (even if the guys on the side of the take off sounded a little more urgent).

Jim Monro was next to take a swing. His first run, well, didn’t go so well.

Anneke Beerten, the Dutch pro athlete and four time world champion whose racing career was ended by a severe concussion quickly chimed in in the comments to to, quite rightly, remind everyone that it’s not “just” a concussion and that traumatic brain injuries are a very serious thing.

Watch: Matt Jones jumps a freaking house

But here’s another angle of the crash that gives some perspective on what the consequences could have been.

Even before Monro’s crash, the new Hardline feature had people talking about how far is too far. This debate usually comes up sometime around, or just after Red Bull Rampage. The Hardline course builders have pushed course design to such an extreme that the conversation is happening before the event, not from the safety of hindsight. Maybe there is such a thing as too far?

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Canadian Cycling Magazine…