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Cyclocross

Trials rider Kenny Belaey drops into Fayetteville from a helicopter

Nine-time world champion trials rider opens a week of 'cross worlds festivities with a massive jump from an airborne chopper.

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Kenny Belaey jumped from a helicopter while aboard his bike to open the 2022 UCI world cyclocross championships.

The nine-time world trials champion mounted his bike to the side of a helicopter and once over a specified target landing site, dropped from the air onto the world’s ‘cross course, according to stickybottle.com.

Also read: Who to watch at the 2022 UCI world cyclocross championships

“I suggested testing the course, they came by helicopter,” Belaey said. “At first, as a simple drop off, but then I got it in my head to jump out. A nice idea on paper, but once those rotors above me were at full speed, it was a bit of a struggle.”

The expert bike handler said he was initially intimidated by the roaring rotor above his head. But by his fourth attempt, he was successful in dropping from one of the chopper’s skis while aboard a modified Allied Cycle Works bike.

“Balancing on one leg on a helicopter that goes up and down is really not obvious,” he said. “Let alone push off, get feet on the pedals, and land safely. Fortunately, I have a lot of experience. After four attempts I had it right, so it was a really great feeling.”

Trials riders are known for their remarkable skills and abilities on two wheels, and the world champion Belaey is no exception.

After — quite literally — landing on the ‘cross worlds course, Belaey proceeded to rip it on his way to downtown Fayetteville.

The Red Bull-sponsored rider put on a display of riding on his front wheel only, hopping onto and riding on a very narrow concrete wall, pedaling backward down a flight of stairs, and riding a single rail on a set of railroad tracks.

Championship cyclocross racing opens later in the week and over the weekend the world’s top juniors, under-23, and elite men and women will battle for the rainbow jersey.

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