../events/X-Games 16

Sources: ESPN, www.expn.com, www.fatbmx.com, www.mirrabikeco.com, bmx.transworld.net, www.vitalbmx.com, ...
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Date: July 2011.
Place: Los Angeles.
FatTony, www.ridebmx.com, july 30th, 2008: way.

Street Qualifying Results (Top 6 Advance To Finals)

FatTony, www.ridebmx.com, july 31st, 2008: Stre to icepige.


Press release, july 2011: Round One standings from the BMX Freestyle Vert event held at Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, Calif. on July 29, 2011. The top two scores from each heat and highest third place score from either heat advance to the Final.
Heat 1
1. Steve McCann 80.00
2. Simon Tabron 73.00
3. Jimmy Walker 71.00
4. Austin Coleman 63.00
5. Jorge Jovel 60.00

Heat 2
1. Jamie Bestwick 87.00
2. Vince Byron 78.00
3. Dennis McCoy 67.00
4. Zack Warden 63.00
5. Jan Valenta 62.00

sports.espn.go.com, july 2011: Jamie Bestwick won his fifth straight gold medal and eighth overall in BMX Vert on Friday, narrowly defeating Steve McCann in a wild, can-you-top-this final that featured a number of rarely seen tricks landed in succession.
Bestwick won with a two-run score of 92 points, two better than McCann's 90-point, silver-medal effort. He clinched gold with a 47-point run moments after McCann landed the second no-handed 900 in BMX competition history. Vince Byron, who took silver to McCann in Thursday night's dramatic Big Air final, claimed bronze Friday thanks to a 540 double tailwhip.
"The four-peat, or five-peat, when you get there, it's an awesome feeling," Bestwick said, "but for me, the best feeling is riding against the best guys in the world. The medals, they're great, but this moment -- I'll never forget this moment because there were so many good things about today that will stay with me for the rest of my life."
Bestwick's eighth gold medal in Vert (and 10th Vert medal overall, the first of which he won 15 years ago) comes six months after a gruesome crash near his home in Pennsylvania fractured his skull and shattered both eye sockets. That might have been easier to overcome were the jovial Brit still a pup, but he turned 40 earlier this month and is two decades removed from his first world championship.
In overcoming McCann's upset bid, Bestwick proved he remains the closest thing action sports has to a sure thing. He has completed multiple seasons without losing a contest and routinely finishes 10 points higher than his nearest competitor on a 100-point scale. But the rest of the field was much closer Friday night, despite a pair of hard crashes that forced Simon Tabron and Jimmy Walker to pull out of the final halfway through. Bestwick relished his win after the way the final transpired.
"I think today was the perfect day," he said. "You have new guys coming through, doing amazing things, and we've got guys that have been around forever, stepping up to the mark. And that's what we need."

Results: 1.Jamie Bestwick 2.Steve McCann 3.Vince Byron 4.Simon Tabron 5.Jimmy Walker
Format: Four heats of five riders. 15 minute organized jam session per heat. Riders take turns and get a maximum of 40 seconds on the course at a time. Best two runs are added together to get a final score for the event.
FatTony, bmx.transworld.net, july 2011: If you don’t have flow, then this course will kill you. It’s tight, it’s fast, and it’s tech. The guys who had flow, speed, style, and tricks are the ones that made it into the finals, and Dennis Enarson, Scotty Cranmer, and Chase Hawk were at the top of that list. The park took out Corey Bohan and Diogo Canina, and nearly took out a few others, too. Dennis’ brakeless perfection was definitely a highlight, along with Hawk’s insane floating transfers and 270s and Scotty’s unique lines and high-speed gaps.

Press release, july 2011: X Games 17: BMX Freestyle Park Round One Results Round One standings from the BMX Freestyle Park event held at The Event Deck at L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles, Calif. on July 30, 2011. The top two scores from each heat and highest third place score from either heat advance to the Final.

Heat 1
1. Dennis Enarson 77.00
2. Gary Young 76.00
3. Daniel Dhers 74.00
4. Brett Banasiewicz 68.00
5. Kyle Baldock 65.00

Heat 2
1. Scotty Cranmer 74.00
2. Chase Hawk 69.00
3. Garrett Reynolds 66.00
4. Diogo Canina 63.00
5. Ryan Nyquist 58.00

Press release, july 2011: BMX Freestyle Park event held at The Event Deck at L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles, Calif. on July 30, 2011.
It all came down to a strategic move for Venezuela's Daniel Dhers, and the move paid off big time as sitting out one run gave Dhers enough energy to pull out all the stops in his BMX Freestyle Park run and take back-to-back gold medals in the discipline at X Games. "Since I got here, I knew that heat was going to play a big, big factor," said Dhers. "So I said to myself that I could do four runs and two of them would have to be half because I would be so exhausted or do two, take a breather and just do a last one hard. It could have gone either way because these guys are amazing. I had to gamble and do it the old Ryan Nyquist way, where he just throws it down and hopes for the best. I am very happy that it worked." The medal marked Dhers' fourth career gold in BMX Freestyle Park at X Games, and was won by a hair in a tiebreaker that counted the person with the highest third score as winner.
San Diego, Calif. Native Dennis Enarson made his presence known in the BMX Freestyle Park from the get-go as he stomped his two high scores right out of the gate in runs one and two. "I was most psyched on landing the double whip pocket air. I wasn't planning on doing it, but I got it though and I'm psyched," Enarson said.
Scotty Cranmer of Jackson, N.J. finished third for the bronze medal.

Park Final results:
1. Daniel Dhers 81.00
2. Dennis Enarson 81.00*
3. Scotty Cranmer 72.00
4. Chase Hawk 58.00
5. Gary Young 52.00
Devon O'Neil, sports.espn.go.com, july 2011: High-flying veteran Steve McCann won a dramatic gold medal in BMX Big Air on Thursday night, sealing his first X Games victory on the final run of the competition. McCann edged fellow Australian Vince Byron to win one of the most carnage-filled contests in recent X Games memory with a score of 91.66. Byron, an X Games Big Air rookie, took silver with 90.66 points despite missing his last two runs due to a broken handlebar.
"I can't even tell you how good this feels," said McCann, 28, who has competed at X since 2001 and won Big Air silver twice, including last year. "Everyone rode like champions."
McCann's fourth and final run included a double front flip to a massive double tailwhip on the quarterpipe, where he flew more than 15 feet off the lip. The dramatic finish came after reigning gold medalist -- and Thursday's third-place finisher (89.33) -- Chad Kagy was carted off via stretcher with an apparently serious leg injury. Kagy landed a no-handed double front flip on the MegaRamp but flailed wildly as he plummeted out of the night sky off the quarterpipe, exploding on impact. He lay motionless for nearly 10 minutes as medical staff tended to his leg. Over the course of the evening, it became almost difficult to watch as competitor after competitor slammed into the hardwood, making spectators wonder which of them would not get up.
"We all know the risks involved," McCann said. "I was at the top peeling off skin from my earlier crash, hoping that Kagy would be OK."
Byron, meanwhile, watched most of the event from the sidelines after sticking his second run, a backflip double flipwhip to no-handed 540. Kagy offered the 21-year-old a spare handlebar but Byron opted to sit out the rest of the competition, saying he wouldn't feel comfortable using the foreign part on his bike.

Press release, july 2011: Sitting in fourth place, Australia’s Steve McCann took the ramp for his final run knowing he would need a big score to jump into medal contention. And he did just that, scoring a 91.66 with a double front double whip. “It couldn't have been better for TV," an elated McCann said. "Coming down to the last run, I just knew I had to stick with my game plan and I kept telling myself I could do it over and over in my head. Finally I had a run that worked out. I'm definitely bruised up, sore and I'm happy."
McCann took first from his fellow countryman, rookie Vince Byron who scored a 90.66 on his second run, but broke his handle bars and was unable to make his final two runs. “I did a flip double tail whip over the 70-foot jump and a 520-tuck on the quarter(pipe)," said Byron about his final run. "I landed a bit low, but I still pulled it. Unfortunately I broke my bars and I wasn’t able to do any more runs. I am stoked I placed where I did on that one run, but props to Steve - he just killed it."
Gilroy California’s Chad Kagy took home the bronze with a best score of 89.33.
The Big Air competition features BMX athletes who have the option of dropping in from either a 60-foot or 80-foot high perch, which then launches them over their choice of a 50-foot or 70-foot gap and continues into a 27-foot quarterpipe. Each competitor takes four runs and are judged on a combination score of which trick they complete over the gap and any trick that they do off the quarterpipe before they land. The competition is not timed and is judged on style, creativity and amplitude.

FatTony, bmx.transworld.net, july 2011: Big Air is always crazy, and even though Chad Kagy got hurt and a few guys didn’t really pull much, it was still just as crazy as ever. Double flips, double frontflips, double whips, flair whips, no-handed 540s, and more…50ft and 70ft gaps, and a 26ft tall quarterpipe is no joke.
Anthony Napolitan, double front flip no-hander.
Zack Warden gave the backflip bike flip four goes and came up empty.
Colton Satterfield, no-handed 360 flip.
Jed Mildon's double flip-to-late whip.
Vince Byron, flip double whip over the 70.

Results: 1. Steve McCann 2. Vince Byron 3. Chad Kagy 4 Anthony Napolitan 5 Colton Satterfield 6 Jed Mildon 7 Zack Warden

Brian Tunney, espn.go.com, july 2011: Is the risk of BMX Big Air worth it? BMX Big Air at X Games 17 finished up Thursday with Steve McCann taking the win, but to be honest, it was a tough contest to watch. Throughout the night, the seven invited riders, including McCann, Chad Kagy, Vince Byron, Colton Satterfield, Zack Warden, Anthony Napolitan and Jed Mildon, all took punishingly harsh falls. And in the end, Kagy left on a stretcher with a leg injury, while the rest of the field limped away from the competition, bruised, battered and beaten down by the rigors of riding the MegaRamp.
Naturally, Big Air contests are dangerous, but Thursday's affair was by far the most brutal display of the MegaRamp biting back that I have seen since the discipline was introduced into the X Games in the mid '00s. But it wasn't just X Games finals that were rough for Big Air competitors -- we need to go back to the beginning of the summer, before X Games 17 arrived.
The scene was set, Big Air riders were invited, and then, riders started going down. First up was 2010's Big Air Bronze Medal winner Andy Buckworth, who ruptured his spleen in June and was forced to pull out of X17's Big Air competition. Then, in early July, Morgan Wade ruptured his spleen at a MegaRamp contest in Brazil and was forced to pull out of Big Air. Last week, Big Air invite James Foster broke his leg, and also had to opt out. And finally, just days ago, Coco Zurita fractured his ankle and that was the end of his Big Air appearance at X.
So even before the X Games arrived in LA, the Big Air field was down by four competitors. Then, just as the sun set over Los Angeles, the carnage continued. -- McCann went over the handlebars twice on double frontflip attempts and slammed brutally hard.
- Vince Byron landed so hard out of an air that his handlebars practically sheered off of his bike. After landing a successful run, he sat out the rest of the contest, unable to continue to compete because his bike wasn't rideable.
- Zack Warden attempted backflip bike flips over the gap and failed to land any of them, sliding down the MegaRamp and trying to avoid his bike, which was falling out of the sky.
- Jed Mildon attempted several double backflips over the gap, and again, he was catapulted from his bike, trying to avoid the wrath of his bike landing on top of him at speeds upwards of 30 miles per hour.
- And finally, after landing a double backflip, Chad Kagy went for a tailwhip flair at height on the quarterpipe. Kagy missed getting back on his bike and was forced to abort. He fell back into the ramp, slid down the transition and lay at the bottom, unable to move. He was cognizant, and able to wave to his fans, but he was taken away on a stretcher.
Dropping in to a contest after one of your close friends and riding companions just went down hard is a tough thing to accomplish. But McCann did just that, nailing a winning run and walking away with the gold medal in Big Air.
McCann later said in his exit interview that injuries come with the territory. And that does seem to be the case. But watching these riders lay it on the line Thursday and come out on the losing end of a fight against the MegaRamp is not something I enjoy.
Of course, I am for the progression of riding, and riders pushing themselves, and the new tricks that have come out of BMXers riding MegaRamp. But sometimes, as was the case with this summer's string of injuries leading up to Thursday's event, along with the injuries here in LA, I'm forced to ask myself if it's really worth it.
I know Kagy will say that riding Big Air is worth it, but that doesn't make it any easier to see one of the world's most accomplished BMX Big Air riders being wheeled away on a stretcher.
My thoughts go out to Kagy for a speedy recovery, and to all of the BMX Bir Air competitors for rolling with the punches.