Action sports legend Travis Pastrana is gearing up for his most ambitious challenge yet as the Nitro Circus ring leader prepares to attempt to emulate and bypass three of Evel Knievel’s most famous stunts in the space of three hours.
The event is going to take place at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, where Evel once famously hospitalised himself, on Monday 9 July and will be aired exclusively on History at 9pm.
To use a famous Evel Knievel quote, “anybody can jump a motorcycle. The trouble begins when you try to land it”, but nobody can land a motorcycle quite like Travis Pastrana.
Pastrana is a pioneer of action sports. He was the first man to ever land a double backflip on a motorcycle at the X-Games in 2006 and since then is - alongside his Nitro Circus collective - largely credited as one of the biggest driving forces behind the progression and development of not only moto freestyle but pretty much every action sport going.
Evel Knievel, you could argue, is possibly the only better known stuntman in the world - and Evel didn’t get such fame without good reason either.
On New Year's Eve in 1967 Evel Knievel infamously attempted to jump the fountain at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, and almost died in the process after he broke his ribs, his hip and crushed his pelvis on landing, earning him a 29-day stay in hospital. On 18 February 1973 Evel jumped over 50 crushed and piled cars on his trusted Harley-Davidson XR-750, and two years later on the 15 October, 1975 he famously jumped over 14 Greyhound buses.
These are just three of Evel Knievel’s best known jumps. There are whole hosts more in his back catalogue. But these are also the three that Pastrana will be attempting on July 9.
“This is going to be the most challenging night of my life"
Pastrana will be looking to bypass both Evel's 50 crushed cars and 14 buses (by jumping a full 16 Greyhound buses in a row). He'll then finish the night by attempting the Caesars Palace fountain jump, and will be doing all of the above on a v-twin motorcycle, similar to what Evel used. What’s more, he’ll be doing it all in the space of three hours.
Speaking in a Nitro Circus promotional video, Pastrana said: “Everything that I’ve done in my entire career has built up to this.
“This is going to be the most challenging night of my life. There’s so much that could go wrong and probably will.”
If successful, Travis will be the first person to ever complete all three tricks in one night, but if anyone can do it, it’s probably him.
Nitro Circus are the modern day kings of the impossible. At times it seems like the action sports collective are behind nearly every world first trick that comes out of the bicycle, moto or scooter world, and lead by the legend that is Travis Pastrana, they never fail to excite.
We can’t wait to watch Travis take on his latest challenge, and who knows what the good people of Nitro Circus will come up with next.
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