FOZ DO IGUAÇU, Brazil -- Polish rider Taddy Blazusiak -- the 2011 X Games Los Angeles gold medalist and a dominant force on the EnduroCross circuit -- was back on top on Thursday, winning the Enduro X finals at X Games Foz do Iguaçu after trading the lead back and forth with American rider Cody Webb, last year's silver medalist.
Both riders struggled through all six laps of finals on the rigorous course, with Blazusiak taking an early lead after going head to head with David Knight, then giving it up to Webb, a former trials champion. The two battled back and forth, with each getting caught up several times.
"I don't know how it looks on TV but I have never ridden something as hard as this track," Blazusiak said after finals. "It's so slick ... I'm super stoked on first place. I gave it all I had and I'm so pumped."
Blazusiak is the reigning GEICO AMA EnduroCross champion, but the track in Brazil gave him trouble from the beginning. He qualified for the event back in 17th place, then just barely made it out of Heat 1, Run 1 in fifth position to guarantee his spot in finals.
Webb had a better time of it, winning his heat in Round 1, but stumbled in the last lap of finals enough to give Blazusiak a commanding lead. Blazusiak ultimately beat Webb by nearly 10 seconds and Knight by nearly 20.
"I was trying to charge and then when I was out front, I was going slower just to maintain the gap and try to make it happen on a bad day," Blazusiak said.
Mike Brown, the defending 2012 X Games Los Angeles gold medalist, finished in sixth, behind fellow Americans Colton Haaker and Taylor Robert.
Men's Enduro X Final