|Date: August 4th - 7th, 2005.|
Place: Los Angeles, CA.
|Michael de Wit, www.fatbmx.com: Another year for the X Games here in Los Angeles...as I head out on the busy freeways of Southern California to see the Finals of BMX Vert....which was promising, considering Mirra needed to make up for last year. This is something he had in mind when you could spot Mirra from a mile away with his 24K Gold Plated bike!!! For the old skool buffs out there, they might recall Woody's 24k gold Trickstar from back in the day, but this was Mirra's way of saying that he wanted it bad...
11 riders and one ramp, bigger then most skate parks, is was about to get crazy....here are just some highlights of the show. The first run was ridden pretty carefully by everyone, having Chad Kagy still doing some serious stuff like double whips, back to back flairs, bar spin to whip...watch out...John Parker double whipping it...and The Beast (Jay Miron) killing it with his HUGE 540 Whip....DMC wasn't looking to happy when the announcer kept mentioning the "oldest" competitor in X Games, which did not even show in his runs...always liked DMC and I'd like to see you competing at his age. Kevin Robinson killed it, he is a big guy that likes to fly high... too bad he crashed on his opposite flair, since his run was flawless up till then. You think bikes go high in ramps at your local demo, until you see Bestwick drop in. Jamie goes higher and bigger then all, it is amazing to see how a 6'1" guy just makes it look so simple...he ruled it by taking out all the tricks in his bag, Whip flair, Skyscraper size 540's, etc...And there was Mirra... up for his first run... damn that's a blinging bike...he rode like a rock star, did everything was he was supposed to do (both ways), until he was setting himself up for something big... where he crossed the channel and simply went down... landed awkward and the gold handlebars stuck him straight in the chest... he was out. He was out ? That was it for Mirra... and it wasn't the only crash taking people out.
Second run started and I am not sure if some riders were happy Mirra was out, but it gave them a chance to move up on spot higher in the rankings. Tim Wood from Australia was doing really well, it was his first US X Games and showed he (almost) had a 900 in him... I think he was heavily underrated in this contest. Koji Kraft made sure everybody got out of their seats for a second by cheering up the crowd. But then John Parker was next... he was riding so well, until he tried a whip to barspin, where he went down hard. So hard the stretcher had to come out and really hope to see him pull that trick in the nearer future. Get well soon John. Robinson did pull his opposite flair in the second run, which got him Bronze 3 years in a row now. And there was former teammate Chad Kagy who swooped up silver for second, with another crazy consistent run... Bestwick was up and what can you say? Whip flair, huge 540's, footplant flair and everything else you dream off as a vert rider, done at a height you can't even think off. He took gold again this year and showed the world that there is future in BMX Vert.
Keith Mulligan, www.ridebmx.com, august 2005: Thursday night was the Vert finals and it was really good-except for Dave Mirra and John Parker landing on their heads. Mirra showed up blingin' with a 24k gold-plated bike that looked pretty damn cool. In his first run he landed really weird off of an air with his front tire turned and went right down on his head. I don't know if he was out cold for a few or not, but he got up stumbling and had to be held up and walked off the ramp. He didn't return for his second run. Parker head-planted coming in off of a tailwhip to barspin and was knocked out for a long time. I'd guess between 30 seconds and a minute. Hearing people yell his name trying to wake him up made the whole situation scary. I have a three-photo sequence of the impact and it's really disturbing. Parker was taken away on a stretcher. Jamie Bestwick rode two awesome runs and took the gold medal. Jamie told me that he was sorry he didn't throw out his big move (Jamie's got some secret tricks), but with everyone crashing hard he wanted to wait until the Vert Best Trick finals on Saturday.
www.bmxplusmag.com: The vert ramp at the X Games was undoubtedly the best the riders have seen in many years. It had two wide walls with a six foot channel and then shifted at one end, with a hip and an elbow, for those riders looking to apply a little variety in their runs. With so many big names on one ramp, it was bound to be non stop action, but with John Parker and Dave Mirra getting knocked out early in their runs and several others taking hard hits, hindering their performance, it was left open to the State Collage riders from Woodward East to step in and take the top podium positions. Kevin Robinson was openly unhappy with the judging, but a flawless run, complete with opposite flairs, huge airs and off the bike variations, a podium position could not be denied, taking bronze for his efforts. Chad Kagy has progressed immensely, going high and nailing back to back tricks, clinching it all with a barspin to tailwhip for a much deserved Silver medal. But when it came down to it, it was the man, Jamie Bestwick going higher then imaginable, blasting airs into the elbow and back out over the hip and flowing tricks on every wall like no-handers to turndowns and just about every regular and opposite flair variation in the book. A much deserved win for Jamie.
1. Jamie Bestwick State College, PA 95.00
2. Chad Kagy State College, PA 92.00
3. Kevin Robinson State College, PA 91.00
4. Dennis McCoy Kansas City, MO 86.66
5. Jay Miron Vancouver, BC Canada 86.33
6. John Parker State College, PA 86.00
7. Dave Mirra Greenville, NC 85.33
8. Koji Kraft Addison, IL 85.00
9. Jay Eggelston Denver, CO 83.00
10. Tim Wood Brisbane, Australia 82.00
|Park Course Layout Designed by Nate Wessel. Built by Wessel Built LLC. This is the first X Games Park course designed and built by ramp guru Nate Wessel.
Finals in Park and Dirt were both held Saturday. The two Ryans, Nyquist and Guettler, rode both events.
Todd Seligman, www.expn.com: To call Saturday's BMX Park competition a wide-open affair would be the understatement of X Games 11. From Dave Mirra, the winningest athlete in X Games history, to Scotty Cranmer, the youngest rider in the field, all 10 guys were contenders for the gold medal. Each rider would take two runs, and the owners of the best three would rule the podium.
Allan Cooke opened the event by posting a solid first run that included a street-inspired wedge to icepick grind across the length of one of the several sub walls on the course. That set a standard that would rise throughout the afternoon.
Greenville native Josh Harrington nailed a no-footed double seatgrab to late barspin over the box. Josh also was the only rider to downside 50/50 grind the bowled corner of the course.
Gary Young took a speed line through the curved wallride, transferring to the hip 10 feet past the wall. He then attempted a front-flip roll-in off of a two-foot ledge into a wedge ramp. Given just a little more speed, he could have pulled it.
Still in Round One, Cranmer cranked full speed at the most unusual obstacle on the course, a seven-foot step-up jump that had a transition for the face, doing a huge turndown-frontflip up onto the deck. And he didn't stop there. He also threw a double-whip, but went down on a 540.
Before dropping in for his first run, Mirra had not even taken a full run on the course. He was taking it easy after suffering a concussion in Vert on Thursday. "I had no run planned," said Mirra. "I hadn't even looked at the course until a half hour before the contest." He dropped in and delivered a stunner. His 24-karat-gold bike gleaming in the California sun, Mirra demonstrated precisely why he is the reigning Park champ. Big transfers and creative lines like his 360 tailwhip backward over the box jump straight into standard incredible Mirra moves like a big flair on the quarter to a double tailwhip on the box to a flipwhip over the spine sealed him a score of 89.33 points.
Heading into Round Two, Mirra's lead looked unbeatableuntil Cranmer dropped in. He put together an amazing run, one that included the big step-up turndown front-flip, a cross-footed framestand 360-tailwhip over the spine and a flair transfer to the transition face of the step-up. Thanks to the fresh tricks and high energy, it seemed obvious Cranmer had just unseated Mirra. But the judges had a different opinion: Cranmer's score of 89 points put him in the silver-medal spot.
The 2004 silver-medalist, Ryan Nyquist, has struggled this season, so he dropped in for his second run without a plan. "From 30 seconds on, I just made it up," he said. Ryan pulled the barspin backflip transfer over the sub-tranny, straight into a bomb-drop back over the sub-tranny into the course to a 720 over the spine. "Then I looked around and it was a straight line for the sub-tranny so I just put my head down and went at it with no-idea what I was going to do." What Nyquist did was amazing. He boosted an off-axis 360 backflip over the sub into the tranny high atop the staging deck of the course. Surely Mr. Nyquist would take the top spot, right? No. The judges gave Nyquist 88.66 points, pushing McCann out of third and leaving one rider to challenge Mirra for gold.
Now there was just one rider left to challenge Mirra. Ryan Guettler attacked the course in a manner befitting a videogame character: 720 onto the step-up, front-flip to a flair followed by a double-tailwhip. But Guettler slid out at the end of his run on a wallride flair. Still he managed to cram nearly twice the amount of high-difficulty tricks into his run. It was not enough to unseat Mirra.
"I had no expectations," said Mirra. "I planned that run in my head. I hadn't even had the chance to ride the course. I can't believe that nobody beat my first run because there were some solid second runs. I'll take it, though. After what happened in Vert the other day, I'm happy."
Dave Mirra has won 19 X Games medals, more than any other athlete.
www.bmxplusmag.com: Park saw some of the biggest names and some of the worst judging we have ever seen in one place. That's right, we said it! Coming back off of his TKO in Vert, Dave put together a very amazing run for only a few minutes of practice on the course, pulling a flip whip over the spine, a double whip over the box and flowing the course from end to end, using every square inch. Chalk that up as Gold #14 for the man on the gold plated bike. Scotty was on fire, and where he usually chokes during his run, under the pressure, he managed to come back after a crash in his first run and couldn't be stopped, packing more into the first thirty second then most riders had in their entire runs. Opening with a front flip turndown up the step up, he proceeded to double whip the box, flair one of the courses smallest courters at unbelievable height and throw a big trick on just about every ramp he touched. A gold medal run, and a silver to show for it. Nyquist had some of the most unique runs we have ever seen from him, firing out huge tricks in some of the most obscure places, doing barspin flips up some crazy steep quarter to elevated quarter, flairing and even tailwhipping everything in his path. A much deserved Bronze for Ryan and a sunburn to boot.
www.mutinybikes.com, august 2005: Morgan gets 6th @ X-Games! Congrats to Morgan! Huge turndown transfers and flairs, all while shredding most of the obstacles. But at the end of his second run he went for a no-handed frontflip, overclearing the box and crashing. Bonus points go to Morgan for getting ABC/ESPN to go to a live shot of his mom after the wreck. He got up, walked off, and his mom was psyched! Good job Morgan! Morgan got 6th in park despite what the X-Games site posted.
Corey Martinez no footed cancan at the X-Games on the cover of BMX Plus! november 2005. Photo by Cody York.
1. Dave Mirra
2. Scotty Cranmer
3. Ryan Nyquist
4. Ryan Guettler
5. Steve McCann
6. Josh Harrington
7. Morgan Wade
8. Allan Cooke
9. Corey Martinez
10. Gary Young
|www.expn.com: In Saturday night's BMX Freestyle Dirt final, Corey Bohan won his second-straight goldthe first Dirt rider to do so at Xwith a run that included a barspin tailwhip, a one-footed tailwhip 360 and a frontflip to finish, all on the final run of the contest.
Before Bohan's last run, Chris Doyle sat solidly in first place with a run that included a huge three-whip over the first set and a transfer from the second.
If there was a favorite going into the contest, it was Ryan Guettler, who struggled on his first run, but put together a whammy of a second take. He crammed a frontflip and a 720 on the middle two jumps, but a lack of difficulty on his first and last hits held him in the third spot.
Almost as interesting as the bike battle was the course the riders were jumping. Brian Foster says he designed the course in about 10 minutes. Competitors could choose from two drop-in ramps, one with a drop off to a speed roller and another with a more traditional roll-in. Each had a small launch ramp allowing riders to get enough speed to trick into the speed ramp. The left line featured an eight-pack, consisting of four jumps; the right line had a six-pack with three hits. The course was as difficult and menacing as it was interesting. Underdog favorite Cameron White sprained his right wrist and knee during practice, Adam Baker crashed attempting to transfer from the right- to left-hand starting line and both had to drop out of the contest. Alternates Colin MacKay and Cory Nastazio replaced the injured pair.
"I didn't even wake up until 3," Nastazio said as he arrived 20 minutes prior to the contest. He got a rude awakening on his first run when he hung up on a barspin and smashed his face in the dirt. He sprained his knee, broke a pinky, gashed his face and knocked out a tooth. He handed the tooth to his team manager, slammed a few Tylenol and then lit up the crowd by bomb-drop backflipping into the speed hump. He landed too hard to catch a pump and finished ninth, but caught the affection of the crowd.
Ryan Nyquist barspun 360s every which way through the first three jumps, went for a nothing no-footed can-can to barspin over the last jump, but crashed and busted his lip open. He never put a full run together and finished last.
www.bmxplusmag.com: Too bad riders weren't judged on their practice run in dirt, as most riders couldn't be stopped, but roll the cameras and it was a crash fest. Making it through the section, quickly became the protocol for winning, with less then half the riders making it through either section on any of the three runs. Bohan was one of the few who actually made it through and tricked every set, with a front flip and barspin to tailwhip packed in to clinch the gold. Chris Doyle, "Captain Consistency" didn't seem to have much trouble with the sections in any of his runs, flowing through 360 whips, trucks and transfers with little trouble, allowing him to change stuff up and feel out a better score from the judges. While Guettler had his contest run dialed in practice, he had some rough times with it during his runs, having to throw out one of his big tricks to make the section. A huge front flip straight into a 720 was enough to give him Bronze and a place on the podium.
1. Corey Bohan
2. Chris Doyle
3. Ryan Guettler
4. Colin Mackay
5. T.J. Lavin
6. Mike Aitken
7. Kye Forte
7. Brian Foster
9. Cory Nastazio
10. Ryan Nyquist
|VERT BEST TRICK|
|www.hsacentral.com, march 2005: X Games Eleven will include BMX Vert Best Trick as a new event this year, eight riders will be invited to compete in the event.
www.bmxplusmag.com: Vert best trick was apparently a sneak attack of tricks, with every riders keeping their tricks under wraps until they fired them out at the comp. Even the Woodward trio managed to keep their tricks from each other until the event to make sure that there was no trick robbery before the event. Jamie Bestwick managed to take his second Gold of the games with an undisputed flair double whip, while Dave managed to get back on the horse and take Silver with a flair whip, and Kagy step up for Bronze with a flat spin 540 whip.
Kevin Robinson competed in Vert Best Trick and was determined to pull a double flair. On one attempt he made the double rotation, but his feet slipped off the pedals.
Team GT/Hyundai rider Jamie Bestwick won the Gold in the Vert Best Trick on Saturday afternoon. Jamie has been working very hard at home close to Camp Woodward in Pennsylvania. Jamie was a little unsure if he wanted to go for the trick he had been working on since he had never pulled it on a ramp before this. The best trick event was a timed session that meant in the 30 minutes alowed they had to pull the best trick they could in the time given. Jamie warmed up for a while and then unleashed the flair double tailwhip, It was the most amazing trick any of us had ever seen and no question it was enough for gold.
www.expn.com: In Saturday night's BMX Freestyle Vert Best Trick contest, Jamie Bestwick lived up to his name. He was fresh off winning his third Vert gold medal Thursday night and looked like he was riding on even fresher legs. It took him all of five minutes to drop into the BMX history books and ride off with a win. In 2003, at a little-known event called the X Games Global Championships in San Antonio, Tex., Bestwick landed the first tailwhip flair. Saturday, in Best Trick, he doubled his gold medal count by doubling up his signature trick and landing the first double tailwhip flair. For all you BMX layfolk watching at home, that's a backflip 180 with two spins of the bike's backside. The trick earned him the first gold medal in the X Games newest event. Before the 30-minute jam began, contest organizer Mat Hoffman said he'd dreamed of adding the event for years, and was thrilled it finally made the cut. "You guys are in for a treat," he said, looking out at the crowd. His theory: A Best Trick contest would allow riders to attempt new, progressive tricks without worrying about sticking an entire 90-second run. "A lot of history is going to go on tonight," he said. "I'm nervous, but excited." Dude called it. Dave Mirra, just four hours removed from winning BMX Park and soaring his X Games medal ticker to 19, landed a skyscraper-high tailwhip flair and a smooth double tailwhip. He finished second in the inaugural contest. Medal 20 for the Miracle Man. State College local Chad Kagy, who could wage his own campaign for that miracle-boy title, stuck a flatspin tailwhip over the channel early on in the contest. Less than two years ago, Kagy broke his neck attempting a double backflip at the Gravity Games and had surgery to fuse three vertebrae. Toward the end of the Best Trick session, Kagy gave the crowd quite a scare. On the second wall of his run, he attempted a triple tailwhip, the most-talked-about whisper trick headed into Saturday's contest, but crashed hard on the landing. He knocked himself out, laid on the flatbottom for a few minutes and then stood up and walked off the ramp unassisted. Rumor had it that Mirra would also try the trickand that he had it dialedbut Kagy's was the only triple-tail attempt of the night. Kagy's neighbor and close friend Kevin Robinson, who has made no secret of his obsession with landing the double flair, knocked himself out of medal contention midway through the session. After coming up short on his first three attempts at the doublethe same trick he tried several times during his Vert runs at the 2004 X Gameshe overrotated on his next try and injured his shoulder. Visibly in pain, Robinson gave it one more go, but overrotated in almost identical fashion, landed on his injured shoulder and then retired for the night. He finished in 10th place, but not before making Hoffman, his sponsor-numero-uno, sound awfully clairvoyant.
The crowd was treated. History was made. The sport progressed. And the riders left room for improvement.
Vert legend Dennis "DMC" McCoy, who finished seventh in Best Trick, is the oldest BMX competitor at the X Games. (He's 38.)
Australian rider Tim Wood threw the second 900 of the night, a super-high, textbook version of the trick. He finished sixth. (DMC" threw the first.)
1. Jamie Bestwick
2. Dave Mirra
3. Chad Kagy
4. Jay Miron
5. Koji Kraft
6. Tim Wood
7. Dennis McCoy
8. Kevin Robinson
|X Games Athlete Selection|
|The following committee will select 9 riders for BMX vert, 6 riders for vert best trick, 9 riders for dirt and 9 riders for park at X Games 11 (2005). The Gold Medalists from X Games 10, Dave Mirra (vert and park) and Cory Bohan (dirt) received automatic invites.
Steve Swope Professional bike rider, X Games veteran competitor, X Games BMX co-organizer, director of events for the Hoffman Sports Association, X Games BMX TV annalist, Secretary/Treasurer of the newly formed IBMXFF (International BMX Freestyle Federation) and President of the newly formed USABMXFF (United States BMX Freestyle Federation).
Mike Vincent Bike rider, HSA judge & X Games judge since 1998, Roots jam co-organizer 2004, also judges other BMX events.
Mike Castillo Bike rider, HSA & X Games judge since 1996, also judges other BMX events graphic design artist, tattooist photographer.
John Povah Bike rider, Etnies BMX team manger, HSA judge since 2001, also judges other BMX events, board of directors of the newly formed IBMXFF (International BMX Freestyle Federation) and board of directors of the newly formed USABMXFF (United States BMX Freestyle Federation).
Mark Losey BMX Freestyle rider since 1982, Associate Editor/Photographer, BMX Plus! Magazine 1992-1998; Editor/Photographer, Ride BMX and BMX Business News magazines, 1998-Present, HSA judge since 1994, also judges other BMX events.
Brian Tunney Professional bike rider, managing editor -Dig BMX Magazine, HSA judge since 1999, also judges other BMX events, board of directors of the newly formed USABMXFF (United States BMX Freestyle Federation).
Leigh Ramsdell Professional bike rider, Eastern Bikes marketing manager, contributor to Ride Magazine, HSA website editor 2002, veteran X Games competitor, X Games BMX on-air reporter/interview, HSA judge, HSA representative for ESPN's Asian X Tours in 2002 & 2003, board of directors of the newly formed USABMXFF (United States BMX Freestyle Federation).
|2005 X Games BMX Purse|
|Total prize purse for all BMX disciplines: $343,100
BMX Vert, Dirt & Park each: 1st $50,000, 2nd $16,000, 3rd $11,250, 4th $8,800, 5th $5,400, 6th $3,750, 7th $3,150, 8th $2,600, 9th $2,000, 10th $2,000 (Total: $104,950)
Vert Best Trick: 1st $14,250, 2nd $7,000, 3rd $1,700, 4th $1,300, 5th $1,000, 6th $1,000, 7th $1,000, 8th $1,000 (Total: $28,250)