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Knievel, Maddison make gutsy jumps

Published: Thursday, Jan. 1 2009 12:07 a.m. MST

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Robbie Knievel, the son of the late Evel Knievel, rung in 2009 by launching the height of a manmade volcano perched in front of The Mirage hotel-casino on a motorcycle for a television special.

The 200-foot high jump made Knievel appear to jump over the volcano on television, though he actually jumped next to it as it spewed a fireball under him for live spectators. Fireworks shot into the air as Knievel landed on the Strip in an area cleared of revelers earlier by police.

Minutes later, Australian stuntman Robbie Maddison drew excited gasps as he hopped 120 feet up and came down on top of a 96-foot high scale version of the Arc de Triomphe at Paris Las Vegas — a follow up to his record-breaking jump of more than 322 feet last year.

The 27-year-old freestyle motocross rider dropped 50 feet off the Arc into a landing ramp and successfully stayed on his bike, but hit his hand hard.

"The hand killed, I think I broke it," Maddison said. "Definitely a gash going right to the bone."

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