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Freestyle motocross star Robbie Maddison took a sleeping London by surprise last night as he performed a spectacular backflip over an open Tower Bridge in the British capital. The 27-year-old Australian took to the air at 2:55 a.m. and soared nearly one hundred feet over the Thames River.

LONDON, July 13, 2009 - The early hours of Monday morning saw Maddison become the first rider in history to take on Tower Bridge on a motorbike. The Australian used the famous London landmark as a take-off and landing ramp as he cleared the gap above the Thames River after the iconic bridge had been raised. With an approach speed of approximately 40 mph, Maddison took off from the north side of the bridge, performed a no-handed backflip, and held his landing in front of the south tower of one of the world’s most famous landmarks.

Maddison joined forces with Red Bull once again to make his UK dream a reality, having already chalked up the world’s longest ever motorbike jump (350 feet), and the highest ever vertical ‘step up’ at the replica Arc de Triomphe in Las Vegas on New Year’s Eve 2008, along with a drop of more than 85 feet down to a landing ramp below.

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Maddison said: “The whole experience was awesome. Since the jumps in Las Vegas I’ve been set on doing something special here in London so the Red Bull team and 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, there were so many factors to get right, but we pulled it off.

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People say I’m crazy, but I just want to push the boundaries of my sport and my body to the limit and I love taking on these huge challenges. It was an incredible feeling to fly between the two towers and over the Thames.”

Maddison will return to London on August 22 to take part in the final stop of the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour 2009 at Battersea Power Station. He won the Calgary stop of the series in May.

The 2009 Red Bull X-Fighters Texas event will air this Sunday, July 19, at 1:30 p.m. ET / 10:30 a.m. PT on ABC, immediately following the British Open.

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Many people helped make this event possible, including Visit London (www.visitlondon.com) and the owners of Tower Bridge, the City of London Corporation (www.cityoflondon.gov.uk).

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