MUNICH -- Venezuelan rider Daniel Dhers climbed back to the top of the podium on Saturday to claim his fifth X Games gold after beating out Scotty Cranmer, Daniel Sandoval, Pat Casey, Drew Bezanson and Gary Young in the X Games Munich BMX Park finals.
"I saw Scotty riding amazing, I see Sandoval killing it. ... I was like, 'I don't know how many tricks I can fit in this run, but I'm going to take nothing and give everything,'" Dhers said after the competition. "It feels amazing. Seriously."
Dhers formerly dominated X Games when the BMX Park course featured more-traditional setups such as spine ramps and wooden box jumps, winning gold at X Games Los Angeles in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011. But he has struggled in the faster and tighter modern-skatepark-inspired concrete courses introduced in the past few years. This is Dhers' first X Games podium appearance since 2011. He managed to find his line in the big bowls and Bavarian-themed course features in Munich, boosting huge tricks like a corked no-handed 720 to post the biggest score of the day in his first of four runs in the 18-minute final jam session.
"I've had this dream run in my head for a while now, and this was the perfect chance for me to throw it out there," Dhers said. "I started it all off with the no-handed 7 and then just started building on it from there. I kept trying to add little variations on each run because I could tell it was going to take a lot to win this. It's really good to win gold at X Games again after what happened earlier this year at the other two events."
Cranmer made the most of a building on the course that referenced Munich's old-world Bavarian architecture, dropping in from the roof to add speed to his runs.
"The second I walked in, I was like, 'Oh man, here we go,'" Cranmer said. "There was something in my gut that told me I needed to try a new line and that I needed to ride off it. So last night, right before I went to sleep, my eyes just popped wide open and I thought, 'You gotta get off that house.' It wasn't easy; I mean, that thing is 10 feet in the air and the coping is another nine feet off the ground, and there's not much tranny to soften the landing when you drop in from that high. I was just glad to land my run, and to walk away with a silver medal is just the cherry on top."
Sandoval dropped in last and needed a score of 44 or higher to edge Dhers out for the gold. He took a casual and anti-climactic 40-second lap through the course to run out the clock, leaving Dhers on top and Cranmer in silver-medal position.
On the injury front, Gary Young, who won his first X Games gold in BMX Park in Barcelona, fell hard in the finals and fractured his wrist. The fracture will require surgery, but not immediately.