Winners of the 2011 FMX Awards were announced this week. Crowned in 14 categories -- primarily arranged by particular regions of the world, including America, Asia, Australia, Europe, and elsewhere -- the list of winners consisted of several of the most recognizable and formidable names in freestyle motocross.
Chile's Javier Villegas earned the overall top spot as the Best International FMX Rider. He quickly took to Twitter to thank his fans, "So happy to get back from practice and see that i [sic] just won Best International FMX Rider, thanks to all of you."
Best American Rider went to Arizona's Nate Adams. And for the third consecutive year, Robbie Maddison took the highest honors from Australia. "Pretty pumped to win this award, thanks to those that voted," the 30 year-old from New South Wales tweeted soon after the announcement. Taka Higashino from Japan and Spain's Dany Torres -- both X Games veterans -- were also among the recognized.
Additional categories produced other victors. Maikel Melero from Spain was awarded Best European and International Rookie -- the only multiple award winner for 2011. Red Bull X-Fighters was deemed the best series or event; the Yamaha YZ 250 as the best bike; and multiple X Games Best Trick champion Kyle Loza continued his trend with a win for Best Trick Innovation. Hannes Ackermann and his younger brother Luc finished first in the Best German and Best German Rookie divisions respectively.
The German-based Berlinièros Sports Agency launched the FMX Awards in 2006 to celebrate the dominant performers from the previous year. Winners are chosen through a two-part voting system. A panel of FMX experts -- an international group composed of contest judges and media members -- chose the initial 24 nominees. From early March through the end of the month, voting was open to the public on the FMX Awards website, and the total tallies determined the winners in each class. Two divisions from 2010 were eliminated in 2011, however -- FMX Rider of the Decade and Rider Website.