MUNICH, Germany -- Veteran competitor Chad Kagy returned to the top of the podium during GoPro BMX Big Air on Friday at X Games Munich, unseating Zack Warden, who had won BMX Big Air gold medals at X Games Foz do Iguaçu and X Games Barcelona earlier this year.
Kagy landed a cliffhanger backflip over the gap portion of the MegaRamp, followed by a flair tailwhip at 14 feet on the quarterpipe portion of the ramp to earn a score of 87.00 in Round 2 of competition. He attempted to up his score in Round 4 with a flair double tailwhip on the quarterpipe but fell upon landing.
"It's been a few years since I've been on top of that podium, and it's refreshing to get back up there," Kagy said. "It was just my day today, and Zack crashed on a couple of his really hard tricks that he's landed the last few competitions. That's a credit for what he was doing at those events."
Friday's win marks Kagy's third career gold medal in BMX Big Air and his second Big Air medal of this year, after getting a silver at X Games Foz.
Morgan Wade, from Tyler, Texas, earned the silver medal at X Games Munich on Friday. Wade unleashed a stretched cannonball (double seat grab superman) over the gap, to a double tailwhip at 19 feet, 4 inches on the quarterpipe.
Unable to land the run that won him gold at X Games Barcelona, Warden secured the bronze medal. Warden landed his trademark backflip bike flip to triple tailwhip in Round 1 for a score of 85.00 but did not improve on that score throughout the remainder of BMX Big Air. "Anytime you are trying to do something new that no one has ever done before, there's a chance you can fall," Warden said. "Especially on this ramp because it's so intense and even on the simplest trick things can go wrong. Just to be able to come out here and pull one solid run and still end up on the podium with two guys I've always looked up to is an honor in itself."
The competition endured an hourlong delay because of a crash by rookie X Games competitor James Foster in the first round. Foster, who has been invited in past years to ride BMX Big Air but was forced to decline due to past injuries, attempted a triple downside tailwhip on the quarterpipe portion of the MegaRamp during Round 1. He landed low and was catapulted over the handlebars to his head and shoulder.
According to X Games medical, Foster sustained a head injury on his first run of the final and was transferred to the hospital for further evaluation. He was moving extremities, according to X Games staff.
The BMX Big Air course remained closed for an hour until X Games medical staff could return to the ramp. As a result, the remaining competitors were forced to wait atop the MegaRamp. "It's always a bummer to see someone crash," Wade said, "and it's a bummer to sit up there and get cold and have to wonder what's going on when someone goes down."
After being admitted to the hospital, Foster was given X-rays and a CT scan. Results of both examinations came back negative. Foster will remain in the hospital overnight for precautionary observation.
The remainder of the competition was not without BMX Big Air progression. Colton Satterfield was able to stick a windshield-wiper tailwhip backflip over the gap portion of the ramp. The trick encompassed a tailwhip kicked one direction, and then reversed in the course of a backflip. Vince Byron landed a no-handed 540 at 16 feet on the quarterpipe portion of the MegaRamp.
BMX Big Air makes its final appearance for the year at X Games Los Angeles 2013 in August. Adds Kagy, "L.A. is going to be a whole new day and a whole new contest."