Jamie Bestwick seven-peats in BMX Vert
FOZ DO IGUAÇU, Brazil -- BMX Vert professional Jamie Bestwick cruised to the first seven-peat in any X Games sport Saturday night, beating his closest competition by nine points and continuing a run of dominance unlike anything in action sports history.
Bestwick, unfazed by the pressures of a potential seven-peat, remarked on the heat and humidity midway through the competition. "Imagine hot yoga. It's like riding vert in a hot yoga session," Bestwick said from the deck of the vert ramp. He also referenced the setting at Iguaçu Falls and the array of fans gathered to witness the BMX Vert class.
"Getting to ride for the fans in this setting, it's like I've already won," he said.
The 41-year-old Briton was never threatened on his way to a two-run score of 91 points, well ahead of Chilean runner-up Coco Zurita's 82. It was Zurita's best placing to date in an X Games BMX Vert competition. Steve McCann, a high-rising Aussie, claimed bronze in a picturesque -- and tough -- final next to Iguaçu Falls.
Simon Tabron, another British rider and longtime competitor of Bestwick, seemed like he might challenge Bestwick when he earned a 44-point score on his first run, only three points shy of Bestwick's first run. Tabron's runs included a variety of high airs, clicked variations such as no-handed 540s, and was capped with a 900 air at the end. After landing the 900 low on the transition, Tabron slammed his nose onto his handlebars through the window in his full-face helmet and spent the rest of the final trying to stop blood from running down his face. He didn't take another run and later went to the hospital for stitches on the bridge of his nose.
Likewise, Vince Byron, another would-be challenger if such a thing exists in Bestwick's world, broke his handlebars and only took two runs, settling for fourth. Byron did land a double tailwhip 540 in his first run, a rarely seen BMX Vert trick.
In his second X Games appearance, Mykel Larrin, a friend and a riding partner of Bestwick, placed fifth in the finals.