BMX firsts at X Games Barcelona
BMX firsts in Barcelona
Just more than a week ago, the world's best BMX riders descended on Spain for X Games Barcelona. In between gold medal runs and picturesque vert contests overlooking the city, a number of BMX firsts occurred, from repeat wins to new tricks to long overdue gold medals. What follows is a collection of BMX firsts from X Games Barcelona.
It was no secret that Jamie Bestwick made X Games history with the first eight-peat ever at X Games in BMX Vert. But for the hardened BMX fan, that aspect of Bestwick's time in Barcelona took a backseat to new vert tricks that Jamie laid down during his runs, including the very first seatgrab nac nac 540, with the added Bestwick height and style for good measure.
In 2006, Keith McElhinney was invited to compete in X Games BMX Vert Best Trick, and landed a frontflip flair. At X Games Barcelona, Chad Kagy brought the trick back with a new technique that allowed him to air higher, land smoother and combine the trick into a dream run. Kagy's second run, which included the frontflip flair, amid other near-impossible BMX vert tricks, didn't earn him gold, but it was definitely a BMX first as far as back to back vert tricks go.
At X Games Foz, Zack Warden toyed with the backflip bike flip to late tailwhip over the gap during BMX Big Air. He never landed it in Brazil, but arrived in Barcelona with the trick on lock, landing it early in the finals, followed by a perfect triple tailwhip air on the MegaRamp quarterpipe. For the diehard BMX fan, it was the run of the competition, and it earned Warden his second gold medal of the year.
For years, Gary Young has competed in BMX Park at X Games, and has placed first in qualifying more than once during that tenure. Young always seemed to feel the pressure of landing the first-place spot in qualifying, though he never won a gold medal. That changed in Barcelona. Young rose to the occasion during the finals and won his first gold medal for his efforts.
Colton Satterfield traveled to Barcelona to compete in BMX Big Air and earned his first X Games medal in the process. Satterfield brought a new trick to the table for Big Air, the 360 decade backflip, and was awarded the bronze medal for his efforts. With the number of Big Air contests happening at X Games in 2013, expect its progression to continue through the Los Angeles stop.
Chad Kagy didn't just deliver his dream run for BMX Big Air in Barcelona, he also introduced a new trick to the MegaRamp during BMX Big Air. That trick, the cliffhanger backflip, is moto-inspired and insane to witness. Kagy didn't medal in the event, but he certainly scared the crowd with his new backflip variation, which involves him being almost completely detached from the bike.
The go-to vert tricks on the quarterpipe section of the MegaRamp are usually flairs or tailwhips, while some riders just go for height. Australia's Vince Byron is not like everybody else. Byron was the only rider at X Games Barcelona to throw a 540 on the quarterpipe section of the MegaRamp. It was huge, smooth and definitely one of the more classically inspired moves of the BMX Big Air event.
Morgan Wade, on the other hand, has decided to go for height during BMX Big Air competition. Wade's airs at X Games Foz were topped in Barcelona, where he managed to clock in a height of 23 feet, 3 inches. To date, it is the highest air any BMX rider has been able to achieve during X Games BMX Big Air competition.
And to close out on X Games Barcelona, Garrett Reynolds took yet another gold medal in BMX Street. Winning BMX Street isn't anything new for Reynolds, but the fact that he has won every BMX Street event at X Games since the discipline was introduced is not only a first, but straight up amazing. Next stop, X Games Munich.