In just over one week the Giro d’Italia will be arriving on Northern Ireland shores for the ‘Grande Partenza’ – known locally at the #GiroStart2014 for three days of action packed adventure, festivals and cycling fun.
To celebrate the #GiroStart2014 arriving in Northern Ireland and to showcase our stunning country we have teamed up with Andrei Burton – one of the UK’s most successful mountain bike trials athletes for an incredible Big Start bike stunt video.
Watch our video as he performs some mind blowing stunts at iconic locations along the #GiroStart2014 route in Northern Ireland.
Andrei has competed in events all over the world and credentials include Guinness World Records, Rides for the Top Gear Live World Tour, being a Team GB competitor and in 2013 placed an incredible 6th place in the UCI World Championships and 4th in the UCI European Championships.
Here we learn a little more about the man behind those epic stunts.
1. Tell us a little about yourself?
So my name is Andrei Burton and I am a professional mountain bike trials rider. I have competed for team GB in the World Championships every year for around 9 years now. Last year I was 4th in the European Championships and was a double world finalist at the World Championships in South Africa. (Both 20 and 26″ categories). I also run my own show team and support some up and coming talents in a few action sports disciplines.
2. Did you always want to be a stunt cyclist?
Actually no, I wanted to be a zoologist or an architect! Slightly different!
But when I started riding and loved it so much, it took over my life. Riding trials is really only something you can do when you’re young so I had to make the decision to pursue this career and I’m glad I did, it takes me all over the world and I meet new people all the time. There is always a new challenge to overcome.
3. Who was your cycling hero growing up?
To be honest I didn’t have one until I was about 13. Then I met Martyn Ashton at one of his shows and I was blown away by him, he inspired myself and a whole generation of riders. I can only hope I can be half the man he is. I have been lucky enough in my career to have worked with and competed alongside him too.
4. What inspired you to become a stunt cyclist?
Actually it happened more by accident, I left home at 16 and worked as a bike mechanic doing my qualifications. I ended up riding a little show with a friend of mine Ross Andrews and that just led on to more and more events. I don’t think there was any one moment where I thought I could actually make a career out of it. Even now!
5. What would you say has been the highlight of your career?
There has been so many great moments in my career, everything from being on the world podium to filming crazy videos. To be honest I get such a high when I’m out riding on huge rocks in the sun and everything just feels perfect, those days are what I live for!
6. How has your trip to Northern Ireland been?
Although we have had a lot of very long days filming, my trip has been fantastic! The crew have been great and have all been so passionate about making this film – it’s a new concept and we all want it to showcase Northern Ireland and its stunning scenery to the world.
7. Where were you most looking forward to visiting in Northern Ireland?
I really wanted to visit the Giants Causeway as it has always been the place that you see in publicity and I’ve always wondered what it would be like to ride there and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s a stunning place and very unusual, I feel very privileged to have been given permission to ride on those incredible stones.
8. Have you discovered any hidden gems while filming in Northern Ireland?
I found some great places to ride, I think I won’t have the chance to ride them again, as it was tough to convince people to let me ride there once, let along go and ride there again.
The coastline really is stunning, I have been lucky enough to travel to many places around the world and it’s so nice to see somewhere so beautiful in my own country.
9. Where has been your favourite stunt or scariest to do in in Northern Ireland?
Well, there has been a few scary moments along the way. I think one of my favourite and scariest was riding along the Titanic sign and dropping to the floor – I was very confident about it until I got my bike up there. Then I realised that if I lost my balance its high enough to break my ankles at the very least if I fell. It was a great mental challenge.
As well as that with such amazing views and some really high up scary lines to ride, riding around Dunluce Castle was great!
10. Why do you think Northern Ireland was chosen as the Grand Partenza for the Giro d’Italia in 2014?
I think that is obvious, Northern Ireland has a fantastic road route with some great challenges and from the air it looks stunning. It will be a great location both for visitors and competitors alike and I hope I will be there myself to watch the race and maybe get to ride in Northern Ireland again!