|Date: august 17-23, 2001|
Place: First Union Center, Philadelphia, PA.
|Surface parfaite recouverte des logos X-games
Matt Wilhelm (22 year old, from Chicago) spinning style, bronze medal. Finland's Martti Kuoppa posted a pair of superb runs (93.40, 88.00) to claim his second consecutive gold medal. Great Britain's Phil Dolan took home the silver. He has now medaled in his last three appearances at the X Games. He won a bronze last year and a silver in 1999.
Mike Vincent, www.hsacentral.com: Today was a hot and sunny day for flatland finals. Ten riders had two runs each. The judges drop the lowest score, which made the competition hot and heavy. With a ton of money on the line, the level of riding was unbelievable. Holding onto the 10th place spot was Alex Jumelin. This French style-cat has competed in many U.S. contests this year. Fast front wheel scuffing and spins are his strong points, but with a hard fall and a few touches he could not advance. German rider Matti Rose rode his way to 9th place. Matti rode well in the preliminaries but had a few problems in the finals. High tech front wheel switches and back wheel spins looked great, but too many touches held him back. All around nice guy and amazing rider, Dan Rigby landed the 8th place spot. Dan has some long links with lots of hitchhiker and backpacker switches, but his feet didn't always find the bike today. The only Japanese rider to make the cut, York Uno, took 7th. York makes it to the states a lot with the help from his sponsors. He's the only rider I know of sponsored by a company that makes brakes and yet he rides brakeless. One of the best all-around bike riders, Chad Degroot, took the 6th place money home. Chad is an amazing street/ramp rider. Today he showed his skills on his flatland bike. Back wheel around the bike to darkside backpacker was a crowd pleaser. It's always great to watch Chad ride flat. Originally from Pennsylvania, Stephen Cerra took 5th place. One word to describe his riding: fast. Runs full of megaspins, mccirles and plenty of high-speed spins. Fourth place went to a disappointed Trevor Meyer. Trevor has been riding a direct-drive gear all year. The crowd seems to love the circus-style tricks. His second run was amazing but just one touch kept him out of the top three. Third went to Matt Wilhelm. The crowd loves Matt because of his high-speed spins. Matt has been stressed out this summer due to his bike sponsor situation. But now with a bronze medal, his phone should be ringing off the hook. The silver medal and 2nd place went to Phil Dolan. Phil had two flawless runs full of around the bike tricks. Phil is one of the smoothest flatlanders out there. Taking the gold and 1st place money again, was Martti Kuoppa. Martti's first run was just amazing. A flawless run with some of the hardest tricks in the sport. Going into his second run he knew that he had a lock on first. With first place secure, he unleashed a few new tricks. The most impressive was a pedaling wheelie straight up into a time machine spin on the pedals. That boy is good. Now that the X Games are over for these guys, there is a feeling of relief for most. The contest season has slowed down which means everyone can spend quality time at home. You can guarantee that they'll be home getting ready for next year's contest season. Can Martti take the gold again next year? You'll have to come to Philly next year to find out. Congratulations to everyone and we'll see you next year.
Paul Vail, www.bmxtrix.com: There was little doubt that Martti Kuoppa was going to win. I mean, come on, we are talking about Martti. The weather was hot though and Martti has been fighting spasms in his back. After sitting through the first nine riders there was a question as to whether or not Martti could hold it together to do better than a flawless run turned in by Phil Dolan. Martti helped to clear things up quickly though. One minute and thirty seconds is all it took. A flawless run with tricks that can't be properly described but we'll try anyway. The trick list included every signature trick Martti has. Most notably was a long run he began with a cross footed half hiker to half packer, kickflip to half packer to tomahawk out. He followed up with a steamroller kickflip to coasting wheelchair kickflipped to mccircles out. Next came a cliffhanger turbined to barflip to cliffhanger to side squeaks, backwards hitchhiker to coasting e-queak to cross-footed hitchhiker out. He finished up with a solid blender. Time was up, the winner had been determined. Phil Dolan earned his spot in second with a flawless first run. Phil has picked up on the long rolling brakeless tricks and links everything up. He threw down the forward karl cruiser on the pedal to hitchhiker jugled back to a forward karl cruiser on the pedal... to hitchhiker. He also pulled a perfect coasting upside down wheelie/cross-footed rope-a-roni to the coasting backwards rope on the pedals. He has made that trick one of his signature moves that he can throw out at any event. His foot never touched down and up until Martti's run Phil was sitting on top of the pack. Matt had to earn his spot after a few touches in the first round. He didn't play things safe though. He started with a full compliment of front wheel spinning and barflip tricks then moved onto his blender straight to upside down pedalling mega-spin to forward time machine out. He then moved on to pull a time machined one handed steam roller variation straight to a no-handed time machined coasting e-squeak. The buzzer sounded and the question was not whether he had won gold, Martti was not to be beat, but if he had managed to get silver or bronze. The score was posted and Matt had edged out Meyer for the number three position. Stephen Cerra looked like he might be up on the podium after his first run. He has picked up a long list of turbined tricks that he can do on both the front and the back wheel. His first run was flawless except for not riding out of his last trick. It was probably the only thing that kept him from being up on the podium this year. His mega spin while kneeling on the seat is just part of the originality that makes Stephen so fun to watch and so good. He also has tomahawks beyond dialed. He gets a fast tomahawk going then pulls both feet off and coasts in a couple of circles no-footed. So close to the medal position but not there yet.
Martti Kuoppa. Photo by Paul Vail.
Kuoppa Dolan Wilhelm. Photo by Paul Vail.
FLAT 1-Martti Kuoppa 2-Phil Dolan 3-Matt Wilhelm 4-Trevor Meyer 5-Stephen Cerra 6-Chad Degroot 7-York Uno 8-Dan Rigby 9-Matti Rose 10-Alex Jumelin 11.Jorge Gomez 12.Nathan Penonzek 13.Art Thomason 14.Aaron Behnke 15.Ryoji Yamamoto 16.Michael Steingraber 17.Scott Powell 18.Takashi Ito 19.Effraim Catlow 20.Leif Valin
|Prelims, Dave Osato pulled a feeble grind and then tailwhipped out of it. He also tailwhip nosepicked the sub rail.
Mike Vincent, www.hsacentral.com: A virtual unknown to the outside world Bruce Crisman rode away with the gold medal in Bicycle Stunt Park. He pulled a barspin to one hand fufanu on the sub rail. His runs were flawless and a joy to watch. He was having fun and just laying it down all over the park.
Five-time Park champion Dave Mirra was going big but after casing two double backflips attempts, he finished sixth. In his final run, he went for a no-handed 360 and then came up short on his second Double Backflip attempt of the Games. Taking the silver with two solid runs was Alistair Whitton. He nailed down a big Backflip Turndown. Jay Miron exploded in the finals, showing some nice amplitude by going 8 feet above the 10 ft. quarter leading into a big 540. A few minor falls hindered what could have been a winning run though and he had to settle for third. Alan Cooke pulled a barspin flip to no-footer and an inverted footplant on the subrail.
Paul Vail, www.bmxtrix.com: The weather proved to be absolutely perfect for the park finals. The course was setup with two box jumps. One average size, and another big one... double backflip big. There was a wooden bowl that had been created in the center of the course that had a spine-like transfer line into it. Along three edges of the course there were smaller ramps to platforms that had been setup in a typically ESPNish style. Practice began early in the day and the ten qualifiers were mostly taking it easy and having a good time. Top spot qualifier Dave Mirra was flowing through the park area and doing some of his smaller tricks while other riders, like Allan Cooke were busting backflips over the big box jump at least ten feet above the ramp. Other riders were focusing on the technical tricks that they wanted to get down in the contest. Jay Miron was working on some G-Turn transfers around part of the bowl and Bruce Crisman kept insisting that he could do a manual all the way around the bowl... he never pulled it. After a couple hours of practice, all video cameras were supposed to be turned off and only photographers were allowed to shoot. The finals got underway and the ten qualifiers, from the prior day, got under way. Markus Wilke, Allan Cooke, Jay Miron, Alistair Whitton, Ryan Nyquist, Rob Nolli, Tom Haugen, Colin Winkelmann, Bruce Crisman, and (of course) Dave Mirra were all in the top ten and shooting for gold. The hands down favorite had to be the top spot qualifier Dave Mirra, but Bruce Crisman had qualified second. For about half an hour there were things going down that had never been seen at the X-Games before. Most notably was Dave Mirra trying a double backflip in both of his runs, and missing a double backflip in BOTH of his runs. This really seemed to take the steam off of his runs and left him without the gold... in fact he only was able to manage sixth place.. It didn't stop Dave from throwing in some very big tricks, but usually it all flows and works together to create a complete package. With a fall in each run and his flow blown, Dave was didn't even make it up on the podium. The top three spots were up for grabs at this event and third spot honors went out to none other than MacNeil Bikes owner Jay Miron. The Canadian Beast has been out of the circuit for a while now but this year he showed he's back - with a vengeance. Big airs and transfers were only part of what he was about today. He worked every inch of the course going big and going off. His big 360 no-footed can-can seat grab was possibly the most original trick that actual happened in the contest. Second place went to seventh place qualifier Alistair Whitton who threw together two very consistent and clean runs. The bottom line for Alistair seemed to be his ability to stay on his bike and make the most of his time on the course. Alistair stayed away from a lot of the big ramps and worked the fringes of the park course with a ton of style. Tailwhips over small hips that should not have been possible and a full speed wall ride that covered at least thirty or forty feet. Unreal. Top spot finisher Bruce Crisman didn't do a single trick over the big box. He rode over it a couple of times to make a big transfer from the box into the bowl, but he never just hauled ass and did a big trick to make the crowd happy. Regardless, he made himself happy when it was announced that he had top spot honors for the year. Bruce simply flowed through the course hitting the smaller jumps and going higher than possible, then landing smooth and going straight into the next obstacle. He worked about every inch of the park course and his one-handed fufanu on the hitching post by the bowl was beyond dialed. Huge gaps to controlled manuals, and nice hip transfers that were smoother than possible.
Other things that were definitely worth mentioning included Ryan Nyquist's backflip 360 which he did AFTER his contest run was completely over. He ran out of time because he kept falling, but the crowd got behind him and he pulled it perfectly on the first try.Tom Haugen seems to be pretty good at tailwhips and showed it during his runs with a big tailwhip tailtap transfer out of the bowl. Jay was going for 90 mile per hour nose wheelies across the huge wall and almost pulling them back into the ramp. Finally, Ryan was hitting some big 360 tailtaps over the hitching post. Definitely tech! Tech seemed to be it. No longer is it good enough just to do the big trick and stay on the bike to win. The big tricks are still good, but the technical tricks are what will win the big contests. No, it's not as fun to watch, so ESPN may not air as much of those riders as you would like, but the skill level is beyond belief. This is the beginning of the next level of street/park riding where simply going big and fast won't cut it. Bruce Crisman is paving the way.
Dave Mirra backflip x-up.
PARK 1.Bruce Crisman (Diamondback) 2.Alistair Whitton (MacNeil/Sobe) 3.Jay Miron (MacNeil/Sobe) 4.Tom Haugen (GT) 5.Colin Winkleman (DK/1-800-COLLECT) 6.Dave Mirra (Haro) 7.Ryan Nyquist (Haro) 8.Rob Nolli (GT) 9.Allan Cooke (Mountain Dew) 10.Markus Wilke (Mosh) 11.Dave Osato 12.Cory Martinez 13.Dennis McCoy 14.Rob Darden 15.Seth Kimbrough 16.Colin Mackay 17.Mike Ardelean 18.Chad Kagy 19.Ruben Alcantrara 20.Steven McCann
|The competition took place inside the First Union Center. Two opposing 40 foot roll-ins
separated by a six pack and a big set of quads, bathed in arena lighting, and surrounded by nearly 50,000
Mike Vincent, www.hsacentral.com: Colin Mackay from Australia, new addition to the Hoffman Bikes team was first up. A few mistakes kept him to 9th place overall, but he did manage to pull off a tailwhip to x-up and a superman tailwhip to finish his last run. Mike Aitken did a 360 lookback off of one set, half pedal before the next set, and then 360 lookdown off of the next set. For his last run, he went for a big lip-to-lip 360 transfer, then turned around a cranked a huge tabletop 360. Then he turned around again and tried another transfer but came up short and let his bike fly off the next lip. 6th place. Allan Cooke. Barspin Backflip over the first set and a sweet seat-grab tabletop 360. Ryan Nyquist came up with a double barspin flip, double truckdriver to barspin back, and then a 720 on the third jump, the landing was on but then his left hand slipped and he was in the dirt. Ryan made his way up the return ramp. It had to be over, right? No way. Nyquist rocketed down the ramp, airing the first jump and then he blew EVERYONE'S mind with a perfect 360 backflip. Final Result...2nd.
During the practice runs Stephen Murray dialed in the double back. When he came down for his second run, he lined up for the final set of jumps and the crowd was on their feet, sensing what was to come. He made his way down, aired the first jump and launched off of the second, pulled hard and ripped the double, landing with little room to spare. TJ Lavin was also in the mix with some serious backflip turndowns, a 360 Tailwhip that he came up just short on and his brand new trick, the nothing Superman. It was only good enough for bronze though.
Paul Vail, www.bmxtrix.com: It looked like Ryan Nyquist was going to have all he needed to win gold in dirt at this years X-Games. After qualifying first the ball was in his court and he started out big with an incredible run. Stephen Murray didn't do the big trick in his first run and it looked like he was in for tough times as he pulled dead sailors off the last two jumps. But, runs two and three made all the difference. In run two Stephen made a smooth run through the first three jumps and then came back for the final two jumps. He gained speed over the first double and went full tilt and threw his head back... one.... two.... perfect landing. The double flip is now officially here for X-Games dirt. A huge score for Stephen meant that he just needed a solid final run. He put it together and walked away one step ahead of Ryan Nyquist. Ryan didn't let him get it easy though. After being in first after rounds one and two then dropping to second place, he realized that he had to pull out all the stops. So that's what he did in the third round. On the third jump of the six pack he threw out a big 720 only to come up a little bit wrong and wipe-out on the landing. He made his way up the second start ramp and came down for what would make or break it all. A solid trick over the first jump then a HUGE backflip 360 over the final jump pulled with perfection. It wasn't enough. The fall on the 720 left Ryan about half a point behind Stephen and in the second place, silver medal position. The dirt setup inside the arena was nothing resembling your average 'trails' setup. Not only were there no trees around. There was a monstrous 30+ foot tall roll in to the first jump of a six pack. At the end of the six pack the riders went up a 25 foot tall roll in and turned around to come back through a four pack. Sure, that's 'real' dirt riding that you get every day. Oh well - the jumps had been built by Nate Wessel and the general consensus was that they were good. Despite the fact that the riders had to hold onto their brakes more than halfway down the first roll in so they wouldn't shoot twenty feet past the landing of the first jump. I would love to tell you all about what went down in finals and who did what... but I think the photos do a better job of telling the story than I possibly could. The bottom line on who won and who didn't boiled down to who went highest and was able to pull a decent trick through the most jumps. If you sketched on a landing, you could count on your score going way down. If you dead sailored a jump and didn't follow it up with something huge, your score was going down. In simple terms, the riders had to flow through every jump in both the six pack and the four pack to hope to do well. Of course, this is ESPN so there is one way around it all. The riders had three runs and the lowest score got dropped. So if you had two incredible runs you could sit out for your third run. If you fell in your first run and had a very low average score, you could have an incredible third run and wind up in first place. It's not the way life usually works, but it encourages the riders to go bigger if they have the room to spare so that they can get the most points. Hopefully you all recognize these riders, because beyond Allan Cooke (green bike, green helmet), Ryan Nyquist (white bike, blue helmet), and TJ Lavin (red bike, red jersey) I'm kind of at a loss to tell you who is who. Yes, I suck... So next year someone who is totally into dirt send me out an e-mail and we'll see what we can do to get you in to write this instead of me. For now though I will have to say that I have heard criticism about how the contest isn't 'real' because the course is not an actual trails setup. This is about as much a load of bullshit as you can possibly get. It sounds like the whining of little kids who are jealous of some incredible riders, or trying to justify why they feel they suck. The reality is that the guys who made the cut to the X-Games spent years out on the same trails that every other rider is on. They shoveled and lugged dirt around, they sweated their asses off. They fell, they learned they grew. True trail riders can do big tricks over the lamest of trails - but good trails allows for the big tricks to happen. The X-Games made damn sure that they had good trails. No 12 pack or 20 pack - but two sets of jumps in a group of 3 and a group of 2 that allowed the riders to go off. They did, and until you get the idea of how big the double loop or backflip 360 was, you need to remember that you can't do it yourself yet.
Mike Aitken, 360-table.
DIRT RESULTS: 1-Stephen Murray 2-Ryan Nyquist 3-T.J. Lavin 4-Allan Cooke 5-Steven McCann 6-Mike Aitken 7-Mike Parenti 8-Chris Doyle 9-Colin Mackay 10-Todd Walkowiak 11.Cory Nastazio 12.Scott Wirch 13.Jerry Bagley 14.Rob Darden 15.Ryan Jordan 16.Adam Baker 17.Ronnie Chaulk 18.Brian Foster 19.Fuzzy Hall 20.Todd Lyons
|A very wide indoor vert ramp. Huge crowd.
Leigh Ramsdell, www.expn.com: Vert had the making of a great time. A rock style intro with lights and AC/DC. A very wide vert ramp. A huge crowd. And nine (You'll find out why only nine shortly) of the baddest vert riders in the world. This was sure to be one of the greatest vert contests ever. The only downside was that Jamie Bestwick was out due to an injury. Eduardo Terreros had already hucked himself enough during the prelims and wasn't able to ride the finals. So he was in tenth place. Crazy kid, Koji Kraft let loose some multiple variations and big tailwhips. He went for a barrel roll flair and nailed his leg on the coping. A few crashes put him in 9th. Blasting high airs and variations like no-handers, a rocket one-hander, and turndowns; Jay Eggleston was happy to be in his first X Games final. He also did the biggest 540 that I had ever seen him do. Give Evil Jay 8th. Jason Davis once again came out listening to Motorhead and riding with Lemmy on his side. In one run he did a flair then a barspin, then a 540 and ended it with a tailwhip. He also did a wide assortment of variations and walked home with seventh place. Dennis McCoy busted a lookback, x-up and barspin 540. He also did a straight up and down flair and big airs. On his last trick he went for a x-up flair but barely missed the landing and fell pretty hard. But it was still good for 6th. Looking a little tired, Simon Tabron still tore it up. No handed and lookdown 540's, no-hander to barspin and going for a regular 900 and an alley-oop 900. He was so close to both but still fell. Even though his run was well over he got back on the ramp and dropped in to pull the 900 clean. Fifth isn't too bad. This comp was insane. Kevin Robinson pulled his no-handed flair in the finals, as well as a regular one; a switch handed 540, some high variations and something that he's never done in a contest before; a huge ass tailwhip. It was nice. Kevin was in fourth. This may just be Mat Hoffman's last X Games. And he made sure it would be one to remember. Rocket no-handers, rocket front peg grabbers, a no handed to no-footed 540, flairs and a perfectly pulled 900. He doesn't even ride brakes. Bronze medal for Mat. You just don't do a 540 tailwhip as you're first trick on you're first run. You just don't do that! Unless of course your name happens to be Jay Miron. Holding nothing back Jay went off. Besides two 540 whips, he also did a big superman tailwhip, big 540's, supermans, decades, and a very nice double tailwhip. He was ruling. Silver for Jay. Not having the best luck in street, Dave Mirra made things work for him here in vert. Simply put, Dave is just incredible on the vert ramp. He uses every inch of it. Put in a no-handed 540, flairs both ways, big opposite airs, tailwhips, no-footed can-can to tailwhip, bar spin to no-hander and so many other rad things you'll get a gold medal winner. And that's exactly what we got, Dave Mirra won vert. With vert finished so were the 2001 X Games in Philadelphia. I'm definitely looking forward to next year's Games. I'm sure it will be just as crazy as this year's.
Paul Vail, www.bmxtrix.com: Mirra makes up for a poor showing in park and wins gold with back to back incredible runs. The story, as it was presented live, is below. This is it, the culmination of what is going on at Summer X 2001. The finals for vert. Every other event has already happened and I am sitting in the press box overlooking the eleven foot tall vert ramp as the finals are about to get underway not even in doubt about who is going to win. It WILL be Mirra if he is as on as he was yesterday. Bottom line people, the only rider that could beat him is Bestwick, and Jamie is out with a bummed ankle. Miron and Hoffman have to look good for 2nd and 3rd place, but the top spot has already been decided... unless things go wrong.
3:30PM - EST - August 22, 2001. I am ready for things to go here - they will probably dim the lights inside the arena and start playing 'Hells Bells' by AC-DC in just a few minutes and the crowd will go nuts. It's like the intro to a pro wrestling match or something. Kind of lame, but it gets the crowd going. Hopefully ESPN will move things along a lot quicker than they did last nite. But they have the event scheduled to run from 3:30PM to 5:00PM - That's an hour and a half of time for 30 minutes of riding. How does ESPN do it? I don't have a clue. Because right now, the riders aren't allowed to ride, the audience is already getting bored, and I for one don't know why. Let's pick up the pace people! The one thing I heard is that Eduardo Tearas won't be up in the final due to an injury that he sustained yesterday. He will be sitting in the number ten spot and that bumps everyone up one spot (yay Koji). It also means there will only be nine riders up, not ten. First rider up, Koji Kraft! HERE WE GO... They just went through his long sponsor list. He drops in and goes straight to a one footed one footer combo. He is going back to back with his tricks as he goes. A bg no hander and a signeture tailwhip, another tailwhip to turndown, to decade air, to 540 - BAIL! It wasn't harsh so he is back up on the ramp with 20 seconds left. Back in, he pumps the ramp and tries to finish up with a BIG flair. It should be added that Koji's first run was back-to-back-to-back tricks. Some big one hander and x-up combos. A definite step up for him from qualifiers. Koji scores a 85.60 Next rider is being hyped - Jay Eggleston. He is pumping to setup and thorws a big invert, tthen a no-hander. Can-can... X-up another x-up a HUGE 540. Very nice! can can-x-up. now he is working the lip of the ramp with some 50-50 grinds and tries a tailwhip at the end and takes a not so harsh slam. This run was NOT as good as Koji's run, but he still scores a full point higher - whatever. (86.60) DMC is dropping in right now wearing all black for K2, Vans... blah-blah-blah. He sets up with a few airs and throws down a big can-can. A big candy bar and a bar spin to barspin. A 540 X-up to another 540 alley-op. A manual across the deck to 50-50 grind. No a HUGE flair pulled perfect. He takes a break and drops back in. A few setup airs to a 540 barspin which I haven't seen in a while at the buzzer. Great run for Dennis. The score comes in and he gets a well deserved 90.60. Jason Davies, riding for Mongoose, is about to go. He sets up with a couple of airs then throws a nice invert - then one -footer to barspin. No-hander and then candybar. One handed-one footer, alley oop turndown no footer then rocket. Barspin no-hander to a big 540 strraight to a tailwhip. A 50-50 grind a couple of times then a few steup airs. An x-up and a big corkscrew. An 89.40 puts him in the number two spot ahead of Jay and Koji. The originator of the corkscrew flair is getting ready to go - Kevin Robinson... Riding to Eye of the Tiger... nice (Philly song). Kevin drops in and takes one setup air to a big no-hander a big alley-oop and a one -handed can-can to a big 540. A few setup airs again and he throws a switch handed 540 way out. Once again he sets up and throws out the corkscrew. A couple airs later he tries a no-handed corkscrew and bites it hard. But he isn't hurt at all. Good. That fall left him tangled in the frame - like leg breakage style. Glad he's not hurt. Kevin scores a 90.00 and that pushes him up to 2nd. I'm falling a little behind on these tricks so there are a few I'm missing - and there are some setup airs between that I haven't mentioned (who cares?). They just spoke to Kevin and he said that the ramp pretty much sucks. Nice. But, he is still happy to be here and having a good time. Suck up? Probably not. Simon is about to go... He drops and takes two setups to go for some big inverts. No hader to barspin. Candybar, can can lokback, one-handed one footer. Then a big no-handed 540 after a couple of setup airs. A HUGE alley-oop 540 across 1/3 of the ramp. He takes a short break and drops back in. A few setups and he throws a NEAR perfect 900. He actually over rotates and goes down. No luck in his first run on that one. Despite the fall - a 90.80 uts him into first place despite a good portion of his run being setup airs. Still a good run though. They take a minute to talk to Simon and he mentions that he is a little stoked to be out here, and just psyched to be able to do it at all. The Condor, Matt Hoffman is up next ready to go at the vert ramp brakeless. He is nearly going high enough to hit the stop motion 90 degree cam hanging over the ramp. That would be cool to see, but not very likely. Matt takes one setup before throwing a big no-hander then a peg grab on the other side. No footed peg grab, big can-can lookback. A barspin to no-footer. A no-footed can-can. a Nice inverted 540 to a few lip tricks. Smith, 50-50....Now he is setting up and hits a big flair with a slight dab on the ride out. That was likely enough to put him into first place. 91.80 - Yep, that's first place for Matt. Two riders left in this round... The Canadian Beast, Jay Miron is up first - then Mirra will be going. Jay doesn't waste much time before getting into his first trick set. He takes his own bike (Macneil) and starts off with a PERFECT 540 whip. Another 540 and then a 50-50 grind. A big lookback and then a high tailwhip. He gets a little squirrelly and goes down on the landing of the whip. Not bad, so he is now back up and getting ready to go. A couple of setup airs and he throws out another huge 540 straight to a tailwhip. He finishes it up at the buzzer with a decade air at coping level. That may put him up to first... His score is a 91.40 which is just out of first place. Jay takes a brief moment to throw up along the sidelines - nerves or the fall getting to him. Hope he feels better for his second run. Dave is about to drop in and the crowd goes nuts when his name is announced. He is definitely a superstar and he deserves it. The miracle man drops and goes big fast. An incredible 540 then a no-hander. A lookback super man. Then another 540. A one hander opposite direction. A barspin then a no-hander out. A HUGE corkscrew and a big no-footed can-can. A 50-50 grind to alley oop 50-50. He works the lip a few more times and comes out of the ramp to finish up his run. Not the most perfect run that I have seen from him, but a solid first run. The 540 he did was about ten feet out and the corscrew was about 6 feet out. A 93.00 puts him up in first place. Questionable. If you look at the results on the right side of the screen RIGHT NOW - you will be able to see what the current first round standings are and what the riders scores are. Koji is back in on round two and throw s a huge doupble barspin - barspin to barspin back. No footed can. A candybar then throws his hand off and brings his foot around the bars with his hand off - that was new for him. HE's taking a quick breather... 25 seconds left. He drops and sets up with a coupl eo f airs. A taiwhip to x-up. Then a flair on the far side and lands sideways on his leg ON THE COPING... Seemed to hurt a little, but he is okay I think. A 85.80 averages out to 85.70 and leaves him in 9th for the finals. Not sure if he didn't do a little better than that... Jay Egglston is up next and after his first run left him in 8th he may be looking to step things up. Most riders are going all out in every run so he may not be able to bump it up above 8th this year. Here comes Jay... A few setup airs then a big invert to a turn down, then a can-can to a superman. Now a lokback. A rocket air one -hander then a big 540. He does them so straight. An alley-oop 50-50 grind. Now a few more setup airs. A rocket x-up. He finishes up with another tailwhip and goes down sideways. That's a hard thing to try to throw at the end of 90 seconds of straight riding. Crazy tired. He gets an 85.40 and finishes with an 86.00 - Staying in 8th. Dennis is getting ready for his second run after an incredible first run. He must be psyched and ready to put it all out on the edge. DMC drops in and takes a couple of setup airs. A nice invert way out then a carving barspin then a candybar. He does a big lokback 540. A few more setups and he throws another perfect flair. A barspin tailtap flyout. He is ON!!! Dennis takes a short break and drops back in. He sets up and throws the turndown flair to a HARSH bail. He is down.... It takes him about a minute but he is back up, limping slightly. His effort is rewarded with a 89.60 which was not as nice but averages out to 90.10 and leaves him in 5th. Jason Davies drops and takes a few setup airs. He throws a nice can can and then a no footed set grab. A barspin then a no -hander. A good 540 then a bottom side footplant. He goes for a grind and misses the front peg. He goes down but is up again quickly. 20 seconds left... He sets up with a few airs and throws a nice corkscrew then a barspin then a 540 then a tailwhip - and INCREDIBLE set with a mild bail at the end. That was dope! 89.00 is what he gets which puts him at a 89.20 and 7th place. At this point nobody has had a score which has changed their position in the rankings. I'm not cool with that. It's like they are doing the exact same tricks or something. Not real cool. Definitely somewhat off. Kevin is about to go and he drops in. Not sure what corkscrew attempt he will be trying, but I'm sure it'll be sick. Jamie Bestwick was just shown on the screen rooting Kevin on. Kevin starts with a bg no-hadner then a swtich hander no-footer. He does a nice can can. Then a HUGE 540. He sets back up and throw s a pefect corkscrew and a 50-50 on he other side. Now a PERFECT no-handed flair. Not even a corkscrew on that one. Wow! Ten seconds left and he drops for one more big trick. He sets up and thwos a tailwhip about 5 or 6 feet out perfectly then throws his bike down the ramp on the other side and raises his hands in satisfaction. He's pumped. He gets a 91.60 and that puts him in a ties for fouth with a 90.80. The first rider to change postion. He gets on the microphone and says that it was the best tailwhip of his life and he's happy that Jamie is here to cheer him on. Just a good mood. Simon on his kickass (ha-ha) Mongoose is ready to drop in. He is in a tie for fourth, so he has to step it up. He drops and takes one setup before a x-up. A big invert. Barpin to one-hander. No -hader. X-up. One-haded-onefooted alley-oop. A few setups then a 540 turndown. He throws a 900 alley oop and falls back on his head. No luck. He still has some time so he gets up and works up to the top of the ramp. He drops back in and he LANDS the alley oop 900 sideways and just STOPS. He doesn't fall off the bike but his feet hit the ground. Not a bail, but not a cleanly pulled trick. Still incredibly hard and good to see. He finishes up with a 90.20 and drops to 5th place with an 89.60. He gets on the mike and says he had a good time, but is sorry for not pulling the 900 clean for Philly. Simon is offerred up the chance to pull the 900 for the glory of it. No score for it, nothing but glory - and Simon goes for it and pulls it PERFECT!!! Unreal. Simon gets on the mike and says that "I had to leave this place with my dignity intact". That 900 was so clean that it did a lot more than that... respect. Three riders to go and we are there are no surprises yet. Matt, Mirra, Miron. The announcer is trying to work the crowd into a frenzy and get everybody up on their feet to root on Matt Hoffman. The Condor drops in and busts about 8 feet on his first air, then goes higher. He does a 9 foot 540 no-handed to no-footed (same 540!). He grabs the front pegs then does a barspin to barspin back to NO-footer (same air!). Dude, Matt is wrong. He has 20 seconds left and works his way up the ramp after a bail on that last combo. He sets up and throws the PERFECT 900 in his run. That was possibly enough to move him up... TIME UP!!! "Holy smokes" he says... Judges score: 91.60, not good enough. He has a 91.70 overall. The crowd is not happy and boos the judges... BOOOOOoooooooo!!!!! People judging freestyle??? Whatever! They are on the mike with Mat, and the rumor of a last contest is presented - MATT HOFFMAN IS RETIRING!!! Jay Miron is getting ready for his last run and he is sitting in the number three spot. He may not get up to beat Mirra, but can still one-up Hoffman. He drops and does a one footer right away. Onefooted one haneder. Another big 540 tailwhip. CRAZY HIGH! A kciked out tailwhip. His legs were WAY off the bike. A 540 then a peg stall and then takes a second to breathe. The crowd is going nuts and Jay drops in for a setup . A bug 540 striaght to a DOUBLE TAILWHIP. Perfection from the beast. Waiting on the judges score - 94.00 - That puts him in 2nd with 92.70. Miron on the mike and says "Not to bad for a has-been. Thanks everyone a Philadelphia for having me. I'm having a good time. It was awesome to see the 900." Nothing has-been about Miron. Dave Mirra is the last competitor of the 2001 X-Games and is sitting pretty to win the gold. He waits patienty for the sign that he can drop then he goes. A huge air to corkscrew to barspin to no-hander to 540 no-hdnerr. A huge tailwhp. Barpsin no-hnader then a big no-footed can-can... I can't keep up. A doublt barspin then an OPPOSITE crokscrew. A high speed manual and some solid lip tricks. He is going back up and does a no-footed can can TO a tailwhip (same air). No, no, no - Mirra is not real. His run is over, and so is this contest. The judges score him a 95.40 and the averge is 94.20. MIRRA WINS GOLD!
5:00PM - EST - August 22, 2001. Final results and scores are up now. They are about to award the medals and I am about to pack things up before they do that.
VERT 1-Dave Mirra 2-Jay Miron 3-Mat Hoffman 4-Kevin Robinson 5-Simon Tabron 6-Dennis McCoy 7-Jason Davis 8-Jay Eggleston 9-Koji Kraft 10-Eduardo Terreros 11.Stefan Geisler 12.Jim Burgess 13.John Parker 14.Rick Thorne 15.Alex Reinke 16.Shaun Eglington 17.Dave Brumlow 18.Josh Harrington 19.Achim Kujawski 20.Seiji Saito
|Aug 11-12, X Games Downhill BMX @ Woodward Camp, Woodward, PA.
Chris Hallman, www.expn.com, august 13, 2001: In an effort to include "berm" and "double" in the American vocabulary, the X Games inaugurated Downhill BMX Racing Sunday at Woodward Camp, in beautiful Woodward, Pennsylvania. Thousands of fans turned out for a thrilling display of speed and courage by 30 of the very best BMX Racers in the world. Even the Amish neighbors took a break from their work to watch the new sport blooming in the fertile fields of Woodward Camp. The track was fast, the weather was hot, the riders were ready, and believe you me and farmer Yoder, the racing was SICK! Just one year ago, Woodward hosted the first ever Downhill BMX event. Since then the sport has rapidly evolved, with track technology pushing the riders to new heights. While last year's track definitely had the excitement and big air, it was virtually a single file sprint to the finish line. This year's track is a story in itself, offering a much better mix of big air, speed, technicality and opportunity to pass. Minor adjustments were still being made as riders practiced on Saturday, but by the start of racing Sunday, the track was well honed and ready for action. Track highlights include some very tight berms, a 40 foot stepdown (That's a double where the take off is higher than the landing), a slight uphill section to test the rider's endurance, and the final straight which saw the most action of the day. Between all the berms and the uphill, there were plenty of opportunities to pass, and the big jumps kept everyone on their toes. It took a well rounded rider to maneuver the track successfully, and with 30 well rounded riders present, the crowd was guaranteed a great show. The step down was easily the most intimidating jump on the track. Imagine pedaling full tilt at the lip of a jump when all you can see is clear blue sky. The landing was at least 8 feet lower than the lip, and you couldn't even see it until you were in the air. It was like falling out of the sky, and riders were going off this jump shoulder to shoulder! Brian Foster even managed a mid-air pass on the stepdown. Talk about bravado. Although the stepdown was clearly the scariest part of the track, the final berm and into the last straightaway was where the biggest battles were fought. There were two well worn lines through the last berm, one high and one low. If you went low, you could cut right past someone on the high line, but it put you almost elbow to elbow with that rider for the next jump, which coincidentally was over 35 feet. Riders were literally touching in the air, neck and neck right up to the finish line. With that kind of pressure it only takes a small mistake to create disaster, which is just what happened to last years champion Robbie Miranda coming into the last straight in the Main Event. Robbie was in the lead out of the last berm, but he could feel the pressure from Brandon Meadows, and tried to stay extra low over the 35 footer. He cased with his back wheel, bounced to flat and got knocked out cold while Brandon went on to win the race. Brian Foster made another amazing pass to take second over John Whipperman who kept it cool and pulled in third. Rounding out the top eight was Jamie Staff, Justin Loffredo, Neal Wood, John Purse, and Robbie Miranda who didn't wake up until the race was over. A thrilling end to the very first X Games Downhill BMX Event. Everyone on hand enjoyed a day of intense BMX Racing, and ESPN enjoyed a successful new X Games event. Race fans, don't miss this one when it airs on TV, it's going to be a show to remember. Thanks go out to the riders for putting it all on the line, the ESPN Crew for putting the event together, Hoffman Sports Association for building an amazing track, and Woodward Camp for providing a beautiful backdrop and hosting the event.
1.Brandon Meadows Sacramento, CA 48.990
2.Brian Foster Huntington Beach, Ca 50.340
3.John Whipperman Norco, CA 50.865
4.Jamie Staff Aliso Viejo, Ca. NA
5.Justin Loffredo Commack, N.Y. NA
6.Neal Wood Huntington Beach, Ca. NA
7.John Purse Spring, Texas NA
8.Robbie Miranda Newport Beach, Ca NA
9.Matt Pohlkamp Cincinnati, Ohio NA
10.Warwick Stevenson Peoria, Az NA