Kenny in Japan with Red Bull
Monday 8 October 2012
by Ben Swales
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After an intense season of comeptition comes, for most riders, the show season. For four-time World Champion Kenny Belaey, it’s the chance to travel to the other side of the world, to embrace other cultures and to set himself new challenges. Two weeks ago the GT Bicycles rider headed over to Japan for a weekend of shows for sponsor Red Bull in the country’s third largest city, Nagoya. They took place at the foot of the famous Nagoya TV tower, Japan’s oldest TV tower, which is 180m high. Kenny started with some very well-attended shows on the Saturday, before taking on a typically adrenaline-inducing challenge on the Sunday. "Red Bull Japan invited me on a tour there following the success of our tour in 2007. They knew I wasn’t afraid of hights after watching the video from Peissey-Vallandry, so they had the idea fo getting me to ride the tower, on a platform 90m up!" PNG - 308.8 kb Quite a challenge, and one that would need a lot of courage and self control. Below is a collection of photos from this extraordinary Red Bull show, taken by Japanese photographer Jason Halayko. Copyright : Jason Halayko / Red Bull

Saturday’s show at the foot of the Nagoya TV tower... a successful series of demos in front of 300 spectators, some of whom were pulled from the audience to take part themselves!

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The final piece of the show involved Kenny working his way quickly up a three-level metal structure and onto the roof of the tower’s entrance hall. A bit of practice for Sunday’s performance perhaps? JPEG - 289.4 kb

Kenny hard at work...

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Kenny’s show was covered live by Nagoya’s public radio and he was interviewed as well.

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Kenny and a fan after the first day’s show.

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The next day, Kenny took some time to get a bit of practice in before continuing with the tour activities. He managed to find some natural-style riding in the city centre and he went big!

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He also rode a bit of street.

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Concentration... Just before heading up the tower, Kenny takes a bit of time to reflect.

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The platform and its obstacles quickly become a playground for Kenny... "There was no room for error at all. Even riding on the big air conditioning outlets was pretty technical - there were cables everywhere! I had a lot of fun!"

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The following week, Kenny spent some time with his Japanese friends, including Kenichi Iwasa, a well-known face on the Japanese trials scene and one of the founders of the UCI-affiliated Japanese Bicycle Trial Association, which organised the first UCI Japanese Trials Championship). He also went and rode with some of the locals... "Following the tower ride, I did some radio interviews and Kenichi and I decided to organise a jam on the following Sunday with 40 riders. That was the most memorable moment for me; the Japanese are so friendly and it was so rare for them to meet a European rider, so they were really respectful and nice."

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"Japanese food is so great! No sugar, all natural, I like that!! If you want to eat fish in this restaurant you have to catch it first... good that there was a menu as well, because we caught nothing..."

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