Robbie Maddison Leaps London's Tower Bridge

Mind the gap

By Aaron Frank, Photography by Getty Images for Red Bull Photofile, Laurence Griffiths

We've all dreamed of doing it. The crossbucks come down warning of an open bridge and, instead of stopping, we race up the raised face and sail across the gap like some amateur Evel Knievel. It never happens, though. We stop like good, little earth-bound automatons, lacking both the courage and the skills to complete such a daring leap.

Red Bull-sponsored freestyle motocross rider Robbie Maddison, on the other hand, has both the cajones and the chops to pull it off. Having already landed the world's longest motorcycle jump (350 feet), as well as the highest vertical step-up (85 feet up and then back down the Arc d'Triomphe replica at the Paris casino in Las Vegas on New Year's Eve 2008), a bridge jump is a breeze. But the 27-year-old Australian didn't jump any old bridge-he chose London's Tower Bridge, one of the most famous spans in the world.

Opening the throttle at 2:55 a.m., Maddison approached the north side of the bridge at 40 mph, performed a no-handed backflip 100 feet above the Thames River, and landed safely on the south side.

"It was an incredible feeling to fly between the two towers and over the Thames," he said. "I have been secretly scoping out Tower Bridge for months. We had a matter of minutes on the bridge and had to time everything to the second, but we pulled it off."

If Maddo has plans for another "New Year No Limits" stunt spectacular, he's not saying. The only event announced by Red Bull so far involves another FMX star, Travis Pastrana, who will attempt to beat the world record for the longest car jump in a factory Subaru rally racer in Long Beach, California. No word yet on whether Pastrana's stunt will involve a bridge.

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