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|Japan's Ucchie (left) and Greece's George Manos (right) at the 2012 Red Bull Circle of Balance.|
A decade ago, Red Bull introduced the BMX flatland contest known as the Circle of Balance in Oberhausen, Germany. The event, held inside a gasometer, electrified the crowd and created a seachange within BMX flatland competitions. Before the Circle of Balance, there were one-rider, timed runs. After the Circle of Balance, the rider versus rider battle format took over.
Since the event's introduction, Red Bull has periodically reintroduced the Circle of Balance flatland competition -- again in Germany in 2004, followed by Japan in 2007. But for the past five years, the Circle of Balance laid dormant until this weekend. Now in Kyoto, Japan, the Circle of Balance returned with a new cast of riders (18 riders from 13 countries, including COB vets Viki Gomez, Alex Jumelin and more), and a new format which combined the battle style with timed runs. In the end, Spain's Viki Gomez won his third Circle of Balance, followed by Hiroya Morisake in second and Jean William Prevost in third.
Rather than explain the mind-boggling and complex techniques that go into the many varying style of flatland riding at the Circle of Balance, we compiled an assortment of photos that showcase the inner workings of the world's premiere flatland BMX competition. Check the gallery.