Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Rally-Moto X [Print without images]

Friday, April 19, 2013
Step Up riders get their hands dirty

By Alyssa Roenigk
XGames.com

FOZ DO IGUAÇU, Brazil -- If you want something done right, do it yourself. So is the way of Moto X Step Up, which takes place Friday night at X Games Foz do Iguaçu.

The motocross athletes who compete in the event, which debuted at the X Games in 2000, are dirt perfectionists, each with his own theories on how the jump should be shaped. Some are more willing to get dirty in the name of building it than others.

For those working these events, it's a regular behind-the-scenes sight: motocross athletes, shovels and hammers in hand, pounding, shaping and reforming the face and landing of the jump on the day of competition. But it's a moment that rarely makes the television broadcast.

In Brazil, course builders shaped the jump from the ground up just Thursday night, mainly because of its location -- the jump is on the first turn of where Thursday's Enduro X course was positioned.

Friday afternoon, after several hours of morning practice, defending X Games Los Angeles Moto X Step Up gold medalist Ronnie Renner and X Games rookies Bryce Hudson and Libor Podmol worked on the jump for more than a half hour after the rest of the field retired from practice.

"The dirt here is tough," Renner said. "I agree with the decisions the officials made to build the course the night before and see how it set up by today. But as the moisture changes throughout the night, the jump changes, so we were just trying to do as much work as we could before tonight. Then, it's all about technique and strategy. Step Up is a game of poker."