Sport

Benalla’s Rob Adelberg rides high in sky

By Georgia Smith

Freestyle motocross rider Rob Adelberg has returned home to Benalla with two bronze medals in hand.

Recently competing at the Summer X Games in Minneapolis in the US, Adelberg took out the medals in the freestyle and best trick disciplines.

However, it was landing a front-flip one-handed that was the real highlight for the talented rider.

After also comfortably landing a front flip in the freestyle event the day before — months of hard work and dedication had finally paid off when it counted most.

‘‘I had done that trick in the foam pit, but never onto a landing before, so that was another test for sure,’’ Adelberg said.

‘‘It felt a bit off when I was in the air and I thought there was a fair possibility that I was going to crash, but I ended up landing it pretty smoothly, so I was happy I was safe.

‘‘On a standard ramp there’s only one guy that’s doing it, I’m now the second guy doing it.’’

Overcoming the fear and nerves that creep in right before making the leap has become second nature for Adelberg, not letting it interfere with his performance.

‘‘If you can overcome the moments coming into it and not let the fear turn you away from it then it’s all good,’’ he said.

And there’s good reason for fear to creep in after having two major injuries to his left leg and wrist.

‘‘With injuries it makes me take more calculated risks,’’ he said.

‘‘My mum doesn’t watch me live any more, but I’ll call her after the event to tell her how I’ve gone and generally if I’m safe she’s happy.

‘‘But I wouldn’t want to have two good limbs and not ride a motorbike.’’

Despite jet-setting around the world to compete, Adelberg said it was all just a part of the job.

‘‘I’ve travelled the world, but I wouldn’t say I’ve experienced all of the countries that I’ve been to,’’ he said.

He’s now gearing up for the next X Games in October, which are set to be held in Sydney — the first time Australia has hosted the competition.

Adelberg is set to compete across three disciplines in the freestyle, best trick and doubles.

Pairing up with a riding friend from Wagga, who also specialises in front flips, Adelberg is confident the pair can take out the top honours.

‘‘I’d like to get a different colour medal in Sydney, a silver or gold would be the go,’’ he said.

Adelberg also wants to thank his family, friends and everyone who has supported him along the way.

The Sydney X Games will be running from October 19 to 21.