|Date: august 15-19, 2002|
Place: Philadelphia, Penn.
Kevin McAvoy, Transworld BMX december 2002: The most hyped-up action sports event of the year went down once in again in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and it was hot in every sense of the word. Some of the riders were really turning the screws on the competition, and the tricks were red-hot: 360 double-whip (Jay Miron); double tailwhip and a five-whip on vert (Dave Mirra); no-handed 900 (Mat Hoffman); flip-whip in park and a barspin-to-tailwhip attempt on vert (Chad Kagy); superman-seatgrab 360 and a double flip attempt (TJ Lavin); 720s over the spine and the first set in dirt, plus a 720 lookback attempt (Ryan Nyquist); and the list goes on. Mother Nature did a little screw-turning herself, making the parking lot of the First Union center feel like the middle of the desert at high noon. It was hard enough to walk around, much less ride a bike at a professionally competitive level.
Sebastien Bonnot, www.agoride.com: Voilà maintenant 2 ans que les X-games se passent à Philadelphie et c'est non sans nous déplaire car le site est vraiment énorme tellement énorme qu'on ne peut le comparer à aucun contest en Europe et c'est bien ce qui fait venir tous ces riders argent mis à part bien sûr, alors on dira ce que l'on veut, que c'est trop bizness que c'est trop ricain, bref de la critique mais croyez-moi cela fait beaucoup de bien à notre sport et permet de lui donner une ampleur supplémentaire. Revenons à ce qui nous intéresse le BMX je vous situe le décors un énorme stadium couvert du genre Bercy fois 2 pour accueillir le dirt et la vert à l'extérieur une immense aire de street à vous donner envie d'aller vous y balancer, et une aire de flat bien grande un peu en pente mais a priori ça ne gêne personne, bien sûr je ne vous parle pas de tout le reste, bosses pour les motos, escalade etc Donc voilà un peu le décors au niveau de l'ambiance, c'est très convivial et surtout blindé de monde, la moyenne d'âge est plutôt jeune et on se déplace en famille ! Bref plein de monde, des aires de jeux de folie et un soleil de plomb tout ce qu'il faut pour passer un séjour de folie.
|Marty Bernoski, www.expn.com: Finland's Martti Kuoppa admitted he lost a little faith after his first run. Kuoppa just shook his head and smiled after posting an 89.00, the result of a few minor slip ups. But Kuoppa wouldn't stay down for long. The 23-year-old Kuoppa won his third X Games gold medal in Bike Stunt Flatland on a sweltering Sunday afternoon at the First Union Center Complex. With one hand in the air like a bull rider, his face looking down at his front pegs, Kuoppa rolled his way to a 95.00 to knock Germany's Michael Steingraeber out of first place. An excited Kuoppa thrust his first into the air and did a drop kick for the crowd.
Steingraeber, the top qualifier and last rider to go, knew he wasn't going to beat Kuoppa's score. "I knew I had the silver medal before my second run," Steingraeber said. "And, of course, I tried to up it a bit, and it didn't work out so I knew I might as well relax and do something easy." Something easy, eh? Steingraeber did his "crowd pleaser," standing atop his handlebars, arms pointed skyward. The judges gave him an 84.00. "The crowd love it, obviously," Steingraeber added. "And they might have thought it was super difficult it's not easy but it's old school. So I just did it for the crowd."
Great Britain's Phil Dolan, last year's silver medalist, won the bronze with a first-run score of 93.00. Dolan also won a bronze in 2000. "I had a perfect run and I pretty much hit everything I wanted to hit," Dolan said.
Jumelin took a peg to the head after a collision with Dolan. Here he is showing that flatlanders bleed too. Alex Jumelin looked like he had been in a car wreck before the competition. Apparently the 24-year-old native of Paris, France, was involved in a collision with Dolan minutes before the 12:30 start. Jumelin took a peg to the forehead, which required several bandages. He also suffered a cut on the bridge of his nose. Still dazed, Jumelin managed to complete both runs. After posting an 85.80 in his first attempt, Jumelin sat slumped in a chair under a tent with a bag of ice on his face. His second run wasn't any better (84.60), and he finished in seventh place.
Sebastien Bonnot, www.agoride.com: Imaginez tous les gars que vous aimeriez voir sur un parking et bien ils sont tous là en passant par Trevor Meyer, Martti Kuoppa, Phil Dolan, Stephane Cerra,... 20 pros affûtés jusqu'aux dents pour venir récolter le price money avec des tricks proches de l'irréel le plus surprenant dans tout ça, c'est que les gars sont de plus en plus fluides, de plus en plus précis, le tout avec des figures "d'homme". Je ne vais pas vous parler de toutes les figures des riders car il faudrait 50 pages mais plutôt de celles qui m'ont le plus marqué. On commence par Trevor qui souvenez vous avait un pignon fixe et qui ne s'arrête plus de faire des tricks sur les pédales ce qui déchire mais cela ressemblait plus à du cirque qu'autre chose et bien là il s'est énervé: il fait tout simplement les mêmes figures mais cette fois avec un freecoster normal donc respect, quant à Martti c'est toujours des tricks bien à lui et dans son run il fait quasiment toutes ses dernières figures dans un seul enchaînement, il arrive à rendre cela simple alors que pour chaque figure faite, il nous faudrait 10 ans pour y arriver. On peut noter le run de qualification de Michael Steingraeber qui finira premier aux qualifs avec un run parfait sans aucun pied. Alexandre Jumelin et Effraim Catlow se qualifient de justesse, tant mieux pour nous, un français en final ce n'est pas tous les jours ! On aura vu de nouvelles têtes comme Ed Nausbaum très original et Terry Adams à voir dans Solitaire 2 c'est lui qui fait les fameux bar hop en steamroller avant arrière. Pour les finales, sans surprise c'est Martti qui finit premier avec un run calme de gros tricks à la Martti quoi ! Le second Michael Steingraeber pose quelques pieds ce qui l'empêche de passer devant le finlandais bien que de toute manière Martti était intouchable, troisième Phil toujours là où on ne l'attend pas avec une place bien méritée et un back ward roperoni sur les pédales de 30 mètres rien que ça ! Et tout plein de links dont il a le secret, impossible à raconter le mieux est de regarder la vidéo !
Armin Batoumeni, www.agoride.com: Et de SIX. Eh oui cela fait maintenant six ans que il y a du flat aux X-games. Comme vous pouvez vous en douter le niveau aux x-games est toujours au top. Et cette dernière session a Philadelphie n'a pas fait exception, on a encore une fois de plus pris une claque. Grâce au système de qualification par continent on a vraiment maintenant un ensemble de riders qui représente le niveau planétaire et ce n'est pas moi qui m'en plaindrais. Il faut en effet comprendre que sur les 20 riders présent il n'y avait aucun "touriste". C'était tout simplement une concentration de tueurs au mètre carré. Mais les X-games, c'est une compétition à part, il y a énormément d'argent à glaner, beaucoup de public ce qui ne facilite pas la décontraction et aussi et surtout dans un contest ou tout le monde a le niveau de gagner, le moindre pied par terre est fatal. En résumé, si tu veux déchirer aux x-games, fais une routine avec des tricks de l'espace, stylés, sans pieds et avec le sourire s'il vous plait. Vous serez peut-être surpris par le classement mais il faut bien comprendre que c'était vraiment serré et que la plupart du temps un demi-point peut séparer 3 riders, ce qui ne remet pas en cause leur niveau.
Le meilleur exemple c'est Marcos De Jesus qui avait tout déchiré aux world et qui finit 20ème. Marcos a du style et rentre tout à vive allure. Simplement c'était les X-games et rien n'est passé, il s'est acharné sur son turbine deathtruck et a posé énormément de pieds. Chad Degroot le précède. Tout le monde connaît Chad et sait qu'il a un pur niveau. Il a aussi tendance à vous donner l'impression qu'il se tape un peu du flat ce qui est parfois un peu énervant. Chad rentre un no-footed crackpacker avec les deux mains sur le guidon son halfpacker whip to coasting backyard to half decade. Mais Chad a aussi pas mal posé de pieds. Takashi Ito n'est pas non plus un débutant puisqu'il a été premier aux Asian X Games mais ses pieds ont aussi passé beaucoup de temps sur le sol de Philadelphie. Il nous gratifie tout de même de ses switchs en hitchiker stylés et prend la 18ème place. Avec Hiroya Morisake quand ça passe c'est propre et ça déchire tout avec des tricks tels que half bunny hop whip 180 to mcCircle to half bunny hop whip. Terry Adams nouveau venu aux x-games a énormément progressé ces 3 dernières années. Mais Terry est tellement sur pression qu'il tremble de tout son corps ce qui n'aide généralement pas à rentrer ses tricks. Il n'a pas beaucoup posé de pied mais s 'est complètement rétamé en essayant de rentrer un pedalling deathtruck. On appréciera aussi ces jumps de steamroller à crackpaker et l'inverse. Aaron Behnke a fait du Aaron, avec plein de switchs autour de la roue avant. on aime ou pas mais c'est différent. Un petit manque de réussite lui vaut la 15eme place 15th place. Aaron Frost - est aussi un nouveau venu aux X-games. Le canadien était en pleine maîtrise quand il s'agissait de rentrer des steam rollers walkaround into pedal rollin forward karl kruser. En fait Aaron a tout rentré sauf son time machine. Aux X-games un pied c'est un pied York Uno habitué des gros contests rentre des hitchhikers whips, et pleins de spinnings et des links brakeless... C'est après avoir roulé avec Ed Nussbaum en Californie que je me suis rendu compte que c'était un vrai robot. Apres avoir " ridé " super hardcore depuis 2 ans Ed faisait sa première entrée aux x-games. Ed est super smooth avec des routines interminables sans fin et sans freins à base de hang five to barwhip to tomahawk squeak around to barbecue hangfive to circle-k into On appréciera aussi les karlkrusers ou roperoni en tire walking. Mais on a beau être un robot, les x-games c'est plus fort que vous et Ed a posé quelques pieds qui lui valent la douzième place. La routine d'Art Thomason n'avait rien d'extraordinaire mais clean: hitchiker pivot to backwards cross-footed Karl Kruzer step around to backwards cross-footed steam roller, 360 barflip to Karl Kruzer, 360 barflip to side squeaker barflip sur la pédale to backwards Karl Kruzer to forward cross-foot Karl Kruzer barflip to hitchiker. Effraim Catlow qui s'est qualifié in extremis à Barcelone arrive encore a être dans les dix prouvant une fois de plus que c'est un rider toujours en place: cross-footed coasting dump trucks plein de tricks sur la roue arrière en tournant vers l'intérieur, et des stubles duck lard yards pour clôturer le link. Jorge "Viki" Gomez avait le potentiel de tout déchirer avec sa routine de figures de l'espace Barcelone. Viki tombe pas mal mais comme il fait du gros trick sa 9ème place n'est pas volée.
Matt Wilhelm c'est monsieur spinning. Il rentre une routine à vive allure en enchaînant pedal time machine to pedaling upside down megaspin rentré après un spastic spinning rope roni. Matt s'amuse a enchaîner de multiples backpakers caboose to backward rope roni barbecue to backpaker caboose le tout en sautant. Matt rentre aussi un spastic no hand blender. Alex Jumelin se fait défoncer le visage par les pegs de Phil Dolan au practice. Quelques points de sutures plus tard, il reste a Alex assez de lucidité pour rentrer spinning cliff hanger, des tricots rapides sur l'avant, tomahawks sur la poignée. Mais bon il s'en serait bien passé. On connaît le style smooth et rapide de Stephen Cerra. Stéphane s'est bien préparé pour le contest et a de la réussite. Il nous rentre ses spinning no-footed tomahawk et inside stick bitch sur la pédale to upside-down pedaling megaspin. Stephan a aussi appris de nouveaux tricks comme des around the world crackpackers (crackpaker to steam roller autour du guidon) et un no-footed crackpacker
Nathan Penonzek est connu pour ses interminables links notamment sur l'arrière. C'est long c'est stylé c'est indescriptible en quelque lignes mais c'est très fluide. C'est à voir en vidéo. En fait pour que Nathan tombe il faut lui donner un bon coup de marteau sur la tête. Après avoir galère pour se qualifier aux games, Nathan du fait de sa 5ème place gagne une invitation pour l'année prochaine. Après avoir été tenté par les roues arrières à pignon fixe " circus style " Trevor Meyer s'est repris et reviens avec un vrai vélo de flatland traditionnel. C'est simple il fait tous les tricks de l'année dernière mais avec un freecoaster normal. La maîtrise !!!Une routine a se couper les c .Trevor ne pose pas un pied et fait une routine composée de steam roller kick flip, halfhiker kick flip, et pedaling deathtruck to no-handed gliding pedal deathtruck to deathtruck blender to pedaling dump truck to cross footed stick bitch to pervert. Bref on se demande encore pourquoi Trevor n'a pas finis deuxième. Après avoir été le boss des contests US pendant des années peut-être les juges veulent-ils voir de nouvelles têtes sur le podium. Tout cela fait les affaires de Phil Dolan. Le londonien a toujours su être présent dans les grands rendez-vous. Cela fait maintenant 3 ans que Phil est dans les 3 premiers et qu'il est toujours aussi consistant et stylé. Quand il ne défonce pas la face d'Alexandre il rentre des rope roni to pedaling rope roni. Son barbecue pedal nose wheelie est maintenant vraiment sous contrôle. Il rentre aussi ses tricots autour de hitchiker walk around, switch feet pedal hang five. Michael Steingräber a fait le tour du monde cette année et a gagné pas mal de contests. Il nous rentre une routine de tricks en miroir clean sans à-coups et sans pieds. La routine de mike est connue, c'est à peu près la même depuis deux ans et certainement un cran en dessous de Trevor. Mais voilà mike ne pose pas de pieds et c'est un robot, qui a une routine très propre. On finit avec celui qu'il est convenu d'appeler le BOSS du contest: Martti Kuoppa - Depuis 3 ans on se dit que Martti peut gagner let à chaque fois c'est exactement ce qu'il fait !!! Comme aux championnats du monde, il a mis un peu de suspens en foirant son premier run. Au deuxième run, on arrête de rigoler et on déchire tout histoire de montrer qu'on n'est pas la pour le tourisme. Martti a tout renté, parfois sketchy mais dans tous les cas agréable à voir: pinky squeak pivot to cross-foot hiker to halfpacker to circle-K kickflip, hang five kick flip to backpacker en poussant le pneu avec la main après la réception histoire de garder de la vitesse, cross-foot hiker en cercle to 360 pegs pivot to cross-foot hiker les pieds croisés dans l'autre sens. En plus d'apprécier la qualité technique d'un rider comme Martti, je crois que le plus impressionnant chez lui c'est son mental de compétiteur exceptionnel qui fait qu'aux X-games comme aux worlds il a su sortir de situation difficiles, se ressaisir et gagner. On notera aussi que Martti sera le premier rider en flat a avoir gagner les worlds et les X-games la même année.
Matt Wilhelm, Transworld BMX december 2002: Its that time of year again when, for a one-week period, I get to be a rock star. With the enormous amount of people watching, cheering, and hounding for autographs at the X Games, it made me wonder, "How did I get involved in all of this madness?" Maybe I tried out for one of those prime-time "reality" shows, except it revolves around the lifestyle of an X Games athlete. In this particular show, I am the returning bronze medallist who has to please fans, ride in the competition, and pass a number of assigned tasks before the viewers vote me off.
The first mission is to seek out and consume my signature sandwich. Thats right, a cafe in Philadelphia created the "Matt Wilhelm Xtreme Sandwich." No joke. The delicious culinary delight is a gyro served with avocado, salsa, and lettuce. Needless to say, mission one was scrumptiously completed.
Task number two on this cheesy reality show is to please the fans and spectators. There must have been a challenge to see who could get the most autographs, because kids and parents went crazy to get them. The most common questions of the week were, "Can I have your autograph?" Followed by, "What was your name again?" The second question usually resulted in the delivery of a fake name and autograph, such as Renier Wolfcastle, Trevor Meyer, or Tony Hawks cousin Mike Hawk. To my surprise, a lot of people actually knew my name, and a few even brought photos from last year for me to sign. Then along came the girls. Fortunately, I brought my girlfriend on this trip; otherwise, the Philly natives would have torn me apart. This year, the girls were just blatantly obvious and upfront with their pickup lines and comments. At times I felt like Jon Bon Jovi as I shoed them away one by one.
The entire week-long event is quite an experience. Not only do you get pampered and adored by thousands, but you also get to do what you love. Plus, it is a great chance to catch up with friends from far away and overseas. With all of the chaos, it's hard to remember exactly what happened on this episode of "Extreme Idol," but I think there was some sort of bike contest that went on, too.
Paul Vail, www.bmxtrix.com: First runs. Alex Jumelin is up after a clean run he gets the score of 85.80 special thanks to ESPN and Philadelphia for the parking problems we had which made us miss the first few riders of the finals and not get any pics or video of practice today, good planning. Alex apparently took a peg to the forehead during practice and had to get some butterfly stitches right before his run so we may not see the most that he has to offer.
Matt Wilhelm is up ad starts off with a dump truck half body varial links. He pulls it as a perfectly clean first link. Next he goes up to the blender combo linked out to a upside down mega spin, up to the pedals and into a forward time machines. PERFECTION! He pulls it clean and steps things p from yesterday.He touches down on the next front wheel link but then goes into a spastic hitchhiker which he pulls clean. score 85.20
Viki is up next and starts on the front wheel.. Firehydrant tubine halfhiker to cross footed halfpacker dropped and tubined and twistede out to hitchhiekr and out. Bars hit but he pulls it. He works the ftontwheel again and sketches big time on a boomerang combo but doesn't touch the ground. He works the half hiker andcoasts around and jumps the frame, but touches the ground - big sketch, he seems to get bugged by nerves at these events. He goes for a superfast hitchiker to cross footed backpacker combo but get's eaten on it and then can't hang onto his last link either. He can give so much more and does all the time in practice... if only it could be true for the actual event. Score: 83.60 and fourth.
The Minnesota Machine.... Trevor Meyer has stepped things up this year and he begins with a half hiker pulled to a bunch of e-squeak barflip combos stuff and a big kickflip on the front wheel.. He works it through and pulls about a 30 second link clean as his first trick. He then works the back wheel. Pedalling into a death truck, coasted one foot on the pedal and then to a blender and straight over into a pedalling stick bitch dropped to a switchbitch and pulled clean. Perfect run for him and he pumps his fist in satisfaction. Probably the first perfect run of the day, and it bumps him into first and will probably put him in medal contention with a score of 92.00.
Nate Penonzek is ready to go and starts with a half bike flip to steamrooler to one handed mccircle then up ont he back wheel with a quick time machine and out clean. Up ont he back wheel he rools smooth into a forward rope and into an upsideown megapsin turbined three times over and into a bacckwards wheelie then around to a junkyard tubined and back into the upside down wheelie and some dump truckage to out. He flows around the entire bike like it's nothing. A megapin int a couple of body varials to gerato and a sketch on his way into the upside down megaspin and it's a one touch run for him. He really needed that last trick for it all to work out perfectly. He receives the score of - 90.20 and second place for the moment.
Martti is up next and looking for gold again. He begins with a cross footed half hiker to half packer which he tries to hold by scuffing with his hand but he can't hold onto it. He tries again, holding the rear tire and he's into a cross foote dhitchhiker and around into some cross footed pinky squeaks and a halfpacker kcik flip then another kick flip to halfpacker and out clean. The guys are definitely fighting the ground here. A cross footed hang nothing then kic flip to wheel chair glide and another kcik flip which he doesn't quite get. Hang 5 then ahyoldign the sta hang ten and he sketches the kick flip out. NOt his best run for sure and despite the difficulty probably not enough in the land where a single touch usually kicks you out of first place. His score - a disappoiting 89.00
Phil Dolan is is up and starts with a huge nose wheelie across the course and then back up the heill with one on the pedal dropped to a hichhiekr then down the hill in a pedal nose wheelie and a hithhiker again and out. Solid and flawless. He heads to the top of the hikll and comes down with a upside down wheelie stepped over to the pedals, pedalling backwards and up the hill and out clean. He has a flawless run going with 15 seconds left to go. He sets up and does ahalfhiker to around the wrold to hang 5 and a few whiplash swqueaks and out clean. Second flawles run for the day and Phil may have taken over first with that, hard to say with the level of difficulty that all the riders are throwing out today. He gets a 93.00 and takes over first place... but not by much.
Mike starts down the hill and does a nice rear wheel link ending with a time machine on the pedals and out clean. Back on the front wheel with a whiplash to hang 10 holidng the set to hitchiker and aroundonto the front wheel bar flip and steamroller then a e squeak barflip to inside steamroller and into a wheelchair then a hitchhiker out and pulled perfect. His game is on today and is above right now> He's up into his stubble ducked rear wheel combo with a stick bitch oneither tdside of the bike and stubble ducks on both sides he pulls it clean. That should be a SOLID first place with the difficulty he throws down and the skills that he has. A definite build up for the entire day for his last run. 93.40 - definitely in first place for now... for now.
Effraim Catlow, whom we missed the first run on thanks to parking difficulties is up again in just a minute... Let's talk about this for a seocnd... Major city, major event (X-Games) so let's have a baseball game with the Phillies the same day when the X-Games is currently using about half of the parking facilities that are already there. Is this going to spell a parking nightare? DUH! So we were running a little late and missed all the practice, but to take 45 minutes to park is just lame no matter what. Good planning, and very typical of the eXperience. Thanks for letting that rant happen.
Second runs. Okay, here comes Effraim - He starts down the hill and hits a coasting dump truck turbined twice but sketched on the ride out and touches.. He tries again and takes it to a forward rope a roni but sketches when he brings the frame around. He hits a cross footed hitchhiekr and brings it down the course. He tries to twist it around to a backwards backpacker but can't hold on. A cross footed dump truck to upside down megaspin and the buzzer sounds . He goes for a gloyt trick but can't get it. Just nothing was coming together for him today, but he has to be happy to make it to the finals and be here. He doesn't score well and stays in 10th.
Stephan is up again and begins with a few tomahwak combos including the no footed coasting variety pulled clean. He goes to the top of the hill and comeds down with a teea glide on the pedal thenright onto the junction on the concrete he touchesdown. He goes intoa timemachine on the pedal to blender at speed and takes a hand off, but can't hold on. He waves to the crowd and says that's it. He seems irritated by the surface and the quality of his riding today. His score - 81.80 - 88.40 and sixth place for now. He drops his second run.
Alex Jumelin comes out again and throws out a hang 5 to spastick cliffhagner sketched out but didn't touch. At that speed still cool. A few scuffing hang -5 combos with some turbinage going on. He sketches and touches on the out. Cliffhagner arouto a mcricles and some pinky squeaks sucffing the fronte wheel forward in between. He takes it out clean then onto the front wheel again with some steamroller stuff then steps over to a wheelchairl glide but can't hold on an touches. He thwos a n-handed one footed hang 5 and jups into the stwheelchair glide and finishes it all up clean. He gets a 84.60 and 7th place with 85.80 as his final score.
Matt starts up his final run with another round of dump truck casting to half body varial to half body varial to upside down whelie to rope a ronti undertaker ride out, clean. He then works up into the bldner and holds on to take it to the upside down pedalling mega spin. He takes it to the forward time mcahine and despite somesketch he pulls it clean and the crowd roars in approval. He does a half barflip to a swheelchair glide but sketches and then the buzzer sounds loud as he is in the middle of a spastic hitchiekr. He does one more glory trick... 360 body varial? We'll never know because he sketches before he can jump. Not his best outing this year, and he gets a 85.20 and 8th place.
Viki starts off with a karl cruiser to mcc ircle then out... clean, but not what he wanted. Next is what he wants but he sketches as he pulls the fire hydrant around to a hitchhiker. He gets it this time and pulls the hitchhiker itno a cross-footed halfpacker he works onto the front whel again and the steamrollercombos dropped to an overtaker ride out but can't pull it. He hits a hang ten and stepsit into a tubined steamrollerand toa half packer but his nerves are playing him down hard. He's happy, but has to be a little disappointed with that run. He gets a 82.40 and finishes with 9th place with 83.60.
Trevor is up now and looking to improve on thirsd. He worsk the front wheel to begin with some side glide kickflip stuff and jumps into a steamroller and a huge kiclfip on the ftonwwheel pulled clean and rides out. He knows he has to step it up so he works ontothe back wheel and a pedalling upsdie ddown mega spin to a backwards blender... He sketches it though and can't pull it as he touches down. He pedals into the coasting death truck on the pedal and takes itto a bleder and steps it through to the pedalling stick bitch again to a switch bitchand he gets the perverted boomerang rideout clean. He gets a 89.40 this run down from his 92.00 and stays in third place.
Nate is up again and looking to do better. He starts ont he rear wheel wand works into a upsdie down megaspin and around the bike again with some tubine and half ghetto flip stuff and pulls out clean. Sosmooth. He starts wtih a mmega spin and ends up in and upsdie down wheelie turbined into a dork wheelie then he turbines that around and takes it to a crosffss footed mega spin but touches down. He works it around again ton the back wheeland nearly runs ito the sidelines. He pulls it clean then starts up on the rear wheel with a geratore tubvrned int and pside down wheelie and pulls it out clean. A suepr difficult run, but the one touch kills you here - he gets a 92.60 and stays in 4th place. One out of medals..
Martti - cross foote d half hiker to halfpacker then he kicflips it once, he kicks it around again - two kiclfips same combo... A couple of pinky squekas to a halfpacker whatever... Pulled clean, he is so hard to desribe as he rides. A cross footed ahng ten holding the seat, then takes the hand off kick flipped to wheelchair glid kidclifpeed to fork wheelie and rides it out clean. 10 sconds left and he does a hang 10 holding the seat keicklfipped and jupmed to half packer and the buzazer sounds... loud int he mieddle of his run he works it around the front wheel and despite a little sketch he pulls it clean. Any guesses this year? FLAWLESS from Martti: 95.00 and he jumps up to first and knocks Trevor out of the medal spot and the Americans are off the podium this year.
Phil is up again and rolls down the hill in a nose wheelie on the pedalswith no brakes. He works up the hill with a whillash and he tries to step it up to the pedal for a side straddle nose wheelie but can't hit it. No touch but he's not on perfect. He does a quick rope a roni stepped u p to the pedals and out. The tries the nose wheelie ont he pedals down the hill again. He works up the hill with a pedal nose wheelie and then to a hitchhiekr then to pedal nose wheelie and aroudto a hitchiker (soudn familair ) he finishes it up with one more pedal nose wheelie and then heads to the top for a couple around the world links to hitchiker and coross footed backpacker, but he sketches and steps out of the trick, you simply know who won this after watchinng Martti ride.
Or maybe you don't know for sure. Mike Steingrabber knows he COULD do it... He's in second and has ZERO to lsoe by going for it full tilt. A whiplash double... no brakes toNow a 360 bunny hop...???? He does itagain a sketches, he knows it's over. He does a barhop He's simply having funHe goes out and just is Mike with none of the pressure anymore and works around teh front whee like it is practice, a few more touches won't hurt him at this point and he does a rollade brakeless and then does a barhride down the hill to the crowds approval... Doing it for the crowd he is happy with second place and an invite for next year.
But the gold is Martti again... No questions, no rumors, just gold.
FLAT FINALS: 1.Martti Kuoppa 95.00
2.Michael Steingraeber 93.40
3.Phil Dolan 93.00
4.Trevor Meyer 92.00
5.Nathan Penonzek 91.60
6.Stephen Cerra 88.40
7.Alex Jumelin 85.80
8.Matt Wilhelm 85.20
9.Jorge Gomez 83.60
10.Effraim Catlow 83.20
20.Marcos De Jesus
FLAT QUALIFICATIONS: 1 Mike Steingrabber 2 Phil Dolan 3 Martti Kuoppa 4 Nathan Penonzek 5 Trevor Meyer 6 Viki Gomez 7 Alex Jumelin 7 Matt WIlhelm 9 Stephen Cerra 10 Effraim Catlow 11 Art Thomason 12 Ed Nussbaum 13 York Uno 14 Aaron Frost 15 Aaron Behnke 16 Terry Adams 17 Hiroya Morisaki 18 Takashi Ito 18 Chad Degroot 20 Marcos De Jesus
|Last year things were a bit more on the tech side but with the riders getting their own course in 2002 things were more vert oriented and everything was big.
Ryan Nyquist's first run was solid, but he broke his crank in the middle of it and had to grab Allan Cooke's bike for the second round. It turned out to be a good thing though, because Ryan lit it up in his second run. Starting off with a double truckdriver off the launch jump, then throwing down a rocket no-hander and later lining up the spine for the 720 that he missed in the first run.
"I found some good lines on the course and I landed everything that I wanted to, so I am psyched. Allan's bike felt pretty good. Maybe I should have tried it during dirt jumping, then maybe I would have gotten the gold,"
Showing off his great flow and style Alistair Whitton didn't need to go big. Decade Air transfer up to the deck. Backflip to the pyramid top and then a turndown back to the ground. He went for a handplant transfer from about a 9 foot vert wall, up across a 4 foot ledge to a blind drop to the quarterpipe on the other side. He had to eject though and slammed hard, ending his run.
Alistair Whitton, Transworld BMX december 2002: It's pretty cool that I placed second again this year; I didn't think I was going to be able to ride at all because of my foot. I had a broken toe; a few days before the X Games I started riding, and it was very sore. When I got there, I just switched off and didn't think about it.
Bruce Crisman had a great stretch going where he cruised around the back of the course, jumped up onto the large sub-box to manual. He held the manual for about 15 feet, hit a small drop down then manual to a rail and peg grind down that.
Chad Kagy, in addition to nailing down a huge backflip tailwhip, had the largest transfer of the day, launching up 30 feet to the sub-box to manual and then barspin back down to the quarterpipe.
The trick of the day had to go to Jay Miron, who killed it with a 360 double tailwhip over the pyramid. He never practiced it on the course and it only took him three tries to get it during his run and he was so close to getting it on the slams.
PARK FINALS: 1.Ryan Nyquist 93.40 2.Alistair Whitton 91.80 3.Chad Kagy 91.80 4.Dave Mirra 90.80 5.Gary Young 88.60 6.Jay Miron 88.20 7.Brian Foster 88.00 8.Josh Harrington 87.60 9.Colin Mackay 87.00 10.Bruce Crisman 85.80 11.Sergio Layos 12.Steven McCann 13.Colin Winkelmann 14.Mike Parenti 15.Dennis McCoy 16.Van Homan 17.Allan Cooke 18.Tom Haugen 19.Dave Osato 20.Ruben Alacantara 21.Corey Martinez 22.Samuel Shinogaki
|Marty Bernoski, www, expn.com: Allan Cooke didn't need all his runs. The wire-to-wire leader, Cooke used his fourth and final run as a victory lap of sorts en route to the gold medal in Bike Stunt Dirt on Friday. Cooke, who took fourth place in Philadelphia last year, got over the hump in his fourth career X Games event, thrusting his first into the air on the final kicker. He finished with an average score of 90.47. The 20-year-old Cooke, the last rider to go, locked up first place after Ryan Nyquist crashed attempting to pull out a show-stopping 720 look-back. Nyquist (89.53 average) had to settle for the silver. The bronze went to Pittsburgh's Chris Doyle. T.J. Lavin suffered a couple of hard knocks. The first one, and it was a big one, came when Lavin went for what might have been a gold medal-winning trick - the double backflip. Last year's winner, Stephen Murray, rode away a winner after he nailed it. But Lavin appeared to land on his head on the fifth and final jump. He remained on the ground for several minutes before getting up to a thunderous ovation at the First Union Center. Lavin then walked off the arena floor, just out of sight from the fans, and could be heard yelling, 'I'm alright, I'm alright' as he waved his hands over his head. A dazed Lavin insisted on watching the end of the competition but was soon ushered away by a throng of concerned family and friends. He was diagnosed with a concussion and was to be taken to a hospital for further evaluation. Doyle gave Lavin another lump, a small one compared to his frightening crash, assembling a technically sound final run (91.00) to steal the bronze. It was Doyle's first X Games medal. Lavin had been in third after three runs. The judges and crowd didn't see eye-to-eye, at least in the first couple of runs. Huge cheers didn't mean huge scores. The crowd's exuberance didn't cause these judges to budge. When Nyquist took a backflip into a no-footed can-can finish in the second run, the stingy panel rewarded Nyquist with an 88.20. Cooke even pulled off a superman seat-grab in the same round and scored 89.80. The crowd booed heartily each time. But the judges and fans seemed to be in synch later in the contest. There were six 90-plus scores; Cooke had two. Cooke set the pace early, landing a no-footed can-can for a 91.20 -- his best score -- in his first run. Cooke was so loose he nearly flew away from his bike. Brian Foster supercharged the crowd in his final run, launching himself over a huge transfer to claim the competition's highest score (91.40). The 30-year-old Foster credited his racing background.
Sebastien Bonnot, www.agoride.com: Dans le grand stadium plein à craquer avec des jeunes dans le public qui brandissent les noms de leurs riders préférés et la télé en direct ce qui rend l'endroit électrique, pour ce qui est des bosses elles sont énormes et sont placées au milieu du stade avec 2 grandes descentes sur les côtés pour prendre de l'élan et se balancer ; j'étais placé tout d'abord juste sur les extrémités des bosses et ce qui m'a vraiment impressionné c'est la facilité qu'ont les riders à sauter les doubles avec des trick de folie ça m'a calmé, après m'être bien calé dans un fauteuil en haut du stade car dans la fosse ça devenait infernal, j'ai pu apprécier le spectacle car c'est vraiment un spectacle, on aura pu voir un back flip look back un back flip tail whip, can can nothing, sérieusement je me demande comment le dirt va évoluer à ce rythme 900 et double back flip sera du classique !
TJ Lavin, Transworld BMX december 2002:
Monday: Today is my last day of riding before dirt practice on Wednesday. Stephen Murray came over yesterday, and we fired some doubles into the pit. I'm not too sure if I'll try one this week, but it's definitely on my mind. I crashed two superman-seatgrab 360s today; I hope I can pull one in Philly.
Tuesday: I'm on the airplane on my way to Philly, and I can't remember the last time I've been this nervous. I know it's supposed to be just for fun, but it's a contest and I'm signed up for it, so I'm definitely sending myself.
Wednesday: Today's practice went great; I felt really good on the section coming back, because it feels nice and big. Nasty talked me into three-whipping the last set, and it was big and fun. Nyquist looks good. Nasty, Murray, and Allan were pretty chill today, but I think things will be different tomorrow. I'm nervous about not making the cut, so tonight it's going to be hard to sleep.
Thursday: We had prelims today, and it was crazy. Nasty and Murray didn't make it; I still can't believe that. I didn't see it with the same eyes as the judges, but I guess I shouldn't complainat least I made it. There was way too much pressure today for me to have fun, because I was stressin' that I might screw up. Now, my nervousness has changed into being scared of what I'm going to try to do in the finals tomorrow.
Friday: I'm so sore today. I slammed my brains out on that three-whip in prelims. Thinking about the double-flip or a flip-whip (or maybe both of those!). I could barely even sleep thinking about doubling that last set. Well, I guess we'll just have to see
Saturday: Well, the double didnt work out as planned, but I'm still happy I tried it. I was going into that last run like, "Here it goes, all or nothing, first or death," and well, I guess I got the sh*t knocked out of me. Spent a while in the hospital; got a CAT scan and had some dyes put in my veins to see if I had any internal bleeding. They had to wake me up every hour that night to make sure I was okay. It was the craziest thing; I totally remember going for the double, but I'm a little shady about the rest of the night. All I know is that I missed backside and took a crank; instead of aborting the mission, I just sent it and lights out! I'm stoked that I didn't back out, so I still won my own little contest with my mind.
Paul Vail, www.bmxtrix.com: The guys are walking around the course for one last time. The practice runs are over and the cameras are now on. The field of 20 is now a field of 10 and there is no Nastazio, there is no Murray, Chris Doyle scared us all in the qualifiers when he fell on his first run, but made up for it to qualify third. Most of all though there are some people that just don't like Nyquist, and some people that love him. Then there are those that simply don't know him but respect his skill... which he has plenty of. He couldn't beat out Allan Cooke to qualify first, but can he do it in the finals? Will he put it all out on the edge and step things up enough to take home the gold medal which he so desperately wants on his shelf. We will start the finals in a couple of minutes and we shall see soon.
First runs. The running order is from last place in the qualifiers to first place, so we will see Scott Wirch throwing down the first set of tricks. The lights dim and the crowd gets loud - it's probably about 10,000 people strong in here. Yet, they can't find any music better than the same "Hells Bells" crap they played last year (played out)! I like AC/DC but give me a break. Same color, same TV show... what are the odds? If there was Murray in the lineup it could even be the same results. Hmmm... Okay, I'll shut up about that and look for Scott to drop down the roll in and head towards the first jump of the six pack before he heads up the SECOND roll in on the opposite side of the arena. When he comes down that roll in he only has to contend with a four pack, but it's a really big set that allows huge tricks to be thrown down by the riders who have the skill to do so. Finally the lights are back on and the riders are taking a quick chain through the jumps. A few nice tricks, and nobody fell which is what counts. They are all at the top of the roll in and they are ready to go on their first of four runs. This will be a while.
Scott drops down the roll in and does a quick 360 and then an x-up and finally a tailwhip on the last set. The crowd at the top of the second roll in hopes for an autograph? A big loop turndown and then a 360 no footed can-can to finish things off. He definitely is pushing things much harder than yesterday and the judges may show some respect for the boos they received earlier in vert judging. His score of an 84.80 is respectable, but leaves a lot of room for improvement. Next up a nice 360 x-up and a 360 the other way are thrown out by Paul Kintner. Back in he transfers a big turndown and then a 360 lookback x-up to no-footer. That was a very, very serious run from Paul. The judges say 85.00 and first place for the moment is his. Mark Kehl must be out for the event or up later because up now is TJ Lavin. He is all set to make the drop down the ramp and he starts it off big with a x-up 360 and a nice indian air seatgrab to a double truckdriver. Straight back in to a 360 x-up to a nothing superman stretched way out from the bike... I wasn't sure he would be getting back on the bike after that one. First place easily. Mark Kehl seems to be out of order or he tied TJ and I didn't realize it. A backflip to x-up (same air) and then a one handed x-up then a nice turndown... almost biffed on that landing - really close. Next set is a loop to a nearly perfect 720... Slightly over rotated though and he clips the signage on the side of the course to slide across a little bit of dirt. He had no business falling. 82.60 for last place and a lot of room to improve on. Brian Foster is all set to show us how to do some 360s I would bet. He drops to a 360 invert then a x-up and a nice truckdriver. He does a nice transfer turndown and finishes up with a big flattie 360 that was a little close to missing the landing altogether. He didn't miss though and his score hits a solid second place with 86.60. Colin Mackay is ready to go and show his dozen or so sponsors who he is. He comes in and hits a no-footer to turndown then a tailwhip to x-up and finally a barspin on the last set. A big barspin to turndown and finishes with a superman seatgrab that leaves him slipping the pedals on the landing. A little harsh so maybe a little off the scoring for that. The judges liked it enough to give him third for now. Next up will be Kris Bennett who came in all over the number four position yesterday. He is looking to step tihngs up at least one position I would bet but has to worry about Doyle, Nyquist, and Cooke who have yet to run. Kris drops: no-hander, 360 x-up and then a 360 x-up the opposite direction. Not big enough I would say, but not a bail either. Second set: no trick to no-hander to turndown on the second jump. He seems really off this round so hopefully he can raise the level some in a little bit. Last place. Chris Doyle is set to go a x-pup 360 and a nice tailwhip then a big turndown 360. He goes super big every time he hits a jump and it's great to see. A turndown and a nice double truck over the last big set to finish things off. He scores a BIG 89.00 for that run which vaults him up into first place. Big, big, big, big! Speaking of big, that would of course mean that Nyquist is up next and looking for blood. Gold colored blood and nothing less. Flatland blows my mind he says before he gets ready to drop down the roll in and start this years journey to X-Games Gold (?) - A loop barspin then a rocket no-hander and a double truck driver to finish the first set. Straight up then back down he throws the loop to a near perfect 720. Those damn signs have claimed a SECOND rider which I think is just bullshit. But, I guess you have trees on real trails so signage is only appropriate here right? The judges say the signs screwed him up so he deserves the landed jump (which he really did have) first place and everyone else drops a spot. He qualified first so you have to expect him to keep up that same level of riding now. Allan Cooke has the nice Mt. Dew green helmet on and just a few tricks ready to go. So let's go. He drops and does a loop x-up and then a whip to a 360 seat grab. Back on top and back down it's a loop to a big nothing can-can. That trick is so big and so awesome to see. Just totally off the side of the bike. 91.20 and the clear first place holder for the moment, Allan has it all together right now.
Second runs. There is a brief pause between runs so I can breathe and rest my hands for a minute - maybe two. We will head back to the top of the list though so get ready for the riders to cut loose again. Scott Wirch drops a 360 x-up and then a no-footed can-can one-hander and finishes with a 360 on the first straightaway. He comes back in and hits a loop to a truckdriver on the last big set. That may not move him up at all, but it definitely shouldn't bring him down either. Or he could get an 80.80 and stay where he is... barely. Next up we have Paul again who is looking to up his seventh place spot a big 360 lookback and then a 360 flattie then a 360, one-handed flattie. Style for sure. Second set is a 360 lookback and finally a one-footed flattie with lots of style over the last jump. The 360 thing is so big with these guys it's amazing. The judges say 82.80 and he stays where he is in seventh. TJ is ready to go back down the roll in and to move into the medal contention from his current spot at four. He drop sand a 360 is first and then a barspin over the second to x-up, the last set is a huge turndown loop. Next a setup air to a perfect 360 whip. That was a really, really big set for TJ. Perhaps that barspin in the middle or the setup may bring it down a little bit, but I would call that the biggest run of the day so far for my sucky judging eyes. Yep, the judges are booing that one. Guess my eyes are better than the judges. Next up is Mark again with a loop x-up to a barspin to barspin and a truckdriver. He gets to the top of the second and back with a big loop to a 720 WAY over rotated on the last set. His second time down on the 720 and I'm sure he's bummed. He has to be perfect from here on out to have any hope of improvement. Only a 79.20 which drops him to tenth. Bummer. Brian Foster is back up to take a stab at it and he drops. A 360 x-up to a no-footed can-can and then somewhat of a flattie. Back in for a huge 360 and a flattie to finish things off. He has some skills for sure, but I don't understand the judging that puts him so high with no variety in his tricks and not much more style than the other guys out there. He drops one spot to number six and Colin is pushed up a spot by that run. Colin is up again and can go even further if he can push it. A loop then a big no-footed can-can fully stretched finishing with a 360 turndown. Now a x-up and finishing up the four pack with a big double truck to an x-up (same air). That was a definite improvement over the other guys we have seen recently. His score doesn't change much and he hold the five spot. Kris Bennett I am sure is looking to push things up a notch for this run. A no-hander to turndown and then a nothing and finally a turndown 360 to finish up the first set. His second set holds a turndown and finally a no-hander to a turndown one-footer. An improvement, but the scoring from the judges are going down, not up, let's see what they think. Enough to move him up one spot to eighth. Chris drops to a 360 and then a 360 x-up and finally a tailwhip superman. He has some mad style out there that really helps his scoring. He comes back in for a turndown and then a big suicide barspin 360 - mad style. He stays in third with a 88.40 and some serious flow. Two riders left and the battle is definitely on! Ryan comes down the roll in and hits the first set with a loop x-up and thena rocket air double barspin and finishes with a double truck. Next set is a loop barspin and then a no-footed can-can on the last set. That loop barspin was super sketchy he barely pulled it... so that can-can at the end was almost landed on top of the ramp instead of on the landing transition. He scores a dismal 88.20 which puts him in a tie for second with Doyle. He definitely is downed on that one. So, one person who is nowhere near downed is the last rider of the day... Allan Cooke is way up on top and he is only looking to improve. Down the ramp, to the jumps... loop barspin, nothing seat grab, and a truckdriver round out the first set. Next set is a turndown and a big superman seatgrab to finish things off. He goes big and does the tricks that tend to get on the covers of magazines. Simply unbelievable. A little bit lower on the score, but not much, and definitely not enough to take him out of first.
Third runs. Scott begins the thrid set of runs with a 360 tabletop and a can-can 360 with a no-hander in the middle to start things off. He comes back in with a loop no-hander to a turndown 360 to finish it off. Not as big as the top guns, but a solid run. Much improved though with an 87.00 and jumps to 7. Every guy here has a chance to make it onto the podium still, but there are a few guys who simply look like that's where they belong... Allan, Ryan, and Chris. But up and comers like Paul are really pushing it. A no-footer to turndown and a 360 x-up then a 360 x-up the other way on the first set. Back in for a 360 and a huge 360 the other way straight to the ground. Not that hard so he's fine. But it won't help his score. Can't blame THAT fall on the signs now can we? He drops one position to 9. TJ hits a 360 lookback and a tailwhip then a barspin to barspin on the last set. He is ready to really rip things up and takes a second on the top of the second drop in. He drops, a barspin then a what the hell was that? A superman seatgrab 360? Holy cow, I would have to say, yes, that's exactly what it was. Screw that! His position doesn't change but his score on that was over 90 which is the second highest score of the day. He is in a very good position going into the final runs. Mark Kehl is ready to move out of the basement and he starts witha 360 x-up and a 360 flattie then a truckdriver to round things out in the world of 360. Next roll in, a loop no-hander and a triple TRIPLE barspin - more accurrately, a barspin, to barspin, to barspin to ??? whatever. These guys make it look so easy. He only gets a 87.00 though because despite a huge last trick, the other stuff was only on average with what the other guys are doing. Not much more. Foster 360's the first jupm to a turndown and then a tailwhip on the last set. His 360 is way high! A ftable top to a big tabletop 360 on the last jump. That wasn't his best run by a long shot and despite some style thrown in, there was a lack of something... oh yeah, tricks. A few tricks over 5 jumps isn't going to cut it here for sure and the judges say 85.80 with no change in position... I think they are being generous - not that we have seen anything like that before. Colin Mackay is up again and drops... a loop then a 360 x-up and finally a lookback 360 the other direction. If you can't turn both ways you suck (kidding)! A quick turndown then a superman tailwhip to finish things off. The big last trick seems to be the rule here. He holds onto the five spot with that run, increasing his score slightly. Kris heads to a one footed x-up and a x-up on the second, no trick on the third.. ouch. Second set is a setup and then a nice one-hander one-footer (I'm just screwing around air) on the last jump. He has decided that run wasn't worth it... 77.60 let's throw that one away okay? To the top three Christ a big 360 x-u a whip and finally a 360 double barspin on the last doubles. He's back at the top and comes in again with a turndown and a nice 360 no-footed can-can. That's it for his third run and I wouldn't expect his score to do much. But it's only a 88.40 which drops him down just below TJ.. he's off the podium unless he steps things up for his last run. The guy in second is up again, Ryan comes down the roll in, barspin loop and a no-footed x-up then a rocket air double barspin. Second set a barspin then a barspin to no-handed loop. Backflips should be so easy that everyone can do hard combos during them without thinking. But was it enough? 91.20 is tied for the highest score and brings his score up to an 89.53 and promises of some 'cool stuff' in his last set. Allan - ever heard of him? You will from now on! He comes in for his third run and does a loop x-up thena nothign to x-up and finally a nice whip on the last set. Not as big as his other runs though I would definitely say. Good, but not as much oomph. He drops for the second set and hits a x-up then a truck driver to a no-footed can- can on the way out. Consistent for sure, but not as big. Definitely not enough to knock him out of first though. He gets a 90.40, a definite 'high' score for that run. But there is room for Ryan to make up the difference in the last set of runs.
Last run. A few minutes to go and lets face the facts... This score will either be super big for some of these guys or it will be totally worthless. If they are going for it then they don't want 'smooth' they want big. There is the chance for Ryan to move up a spot with another 91.20 score or better and he definitely has it in him. But Allan can hold him off. TJ has been moving up throughout the event but doesn't look like he can do better than third- if Chris Doyle lets him hang onto it. The other guys? Yeah, they can move up, but I wouldn't bet on it. Scott Wirch drops a 360 then a no-footed can can and finally a nothing on the last set. He makes his way up quickly then drops back down for his last two jumps. A loop x-up and finally a truck driver to x-up, barely pulled, to finish things off. He was going for it and is probably happy with his runs, but it won't be enough to really help enough. He moves up one spot and that'll be it. Paul comes in with a 360 x-up then a 360 flattie and finally a 360 one-footed x-up on the third jump. Down again quickly with a 360 lookback and a 360 lookback to x-up on the last jump. Paul did well but only gets an 83.00 and moves up one spot. Nice way to finish things up for him. We have only a few guys left but TJ is the guy - x-up 360 a barspin to x-up and finally a tailwhip on the last one. He's on top of the last roll in and is looking down and thinking to hit something really big. A setup and finally a huge double loop to face. No wheels on that landing at all and the crowd has fallen deathly silent. He isn't moving right now so let's keep our fingers crossed. It's been a couple of minutes and it looks like he may be moving around a little bit. They are playing advertisements to keep us happy. Only in America. He's awake now and seems like he may be alright. He took it really hard so if he is able to walk away without much in the way of injury he gets mad props. That'll really put a damper on the rest of the riders runs though. He gets up and walks away from that. Dazed and confused perhaps, but walking on his own. Give him a few Advil after that one for sure! Back to business I would say, and they didn't show a score for TJ so it probably wasn't that good. Anyway, we are back up with Mark Kehl. Loop to 360 x-up and a tailwhip on the last set that he crashes on. Like I said, one big wreck and it shuts everyone down. He calls it a run and the rest of the guys take a warm up run again. Foster goes for the transfer of the contest - about 40 feet maybe more - Wow! Then a nice barspin a transfer on the return trip and a nice barspin on the last jump. His style is huge his tricks may not be enough though. He broke his bike in half during practice and gets the high score with a 91.40 on the last run - 87.93 and fifth place for Brian. He seems really stoked on that run and is just happy to be here and was able to ride at the X-Games and do so well. Brian really pushed things up for the last guys. Colin Mackay drops and starts with a x-up to turndown a big tailwhp and a whip 360 on the last jump of the first set. That means only bigger - a x-up and a enormously stretched no-handed 360 over the last jump. He is in the zone and nothing will throw him off. He's up to fifth and Brian drops down one notch to number six... that's it for Colin. Kris Bennett needs to step things up if he wants to do well. A no-hander then a 360 x-up and 360 the other way on the last jump. As he works his way to the top of the second roll in you have to think he isn't stepping it up enough... A turndwon and a nothing seatgrab to no-footed can-can on the last jump. Big stuff for sure, but not stepped up the way the other guys have done it. He scores a 85.20 and overall gets a 84.20 for eighth place. Chris must do it - a 360 x-up a talwhip on the second and a 360 no-footed can-can on the last jump. He has those down pretty much to perfection. He drops again after a second of though and hits a big whip then a huge turndown 360 to finish things off. A perfect run, yes, but even the huge whip on the first jump of the second set I don't think it'll push him ahead of TJ... But a 91.00 - and 89.47 it moves him UP to third place!!! The top two positions are definite... but the order is not! Ryan can only go up... but Allan CAN go down. Ryan has all the potential in the world but does he have the skill right now? He drops in and starts with a 730 then a 360 x-up then a switch handed 360... STARTS with a 720? Balls - pure balls! A x-up then a big lookback 720 on the last jump that got away from him. He will pay the price for that... maybe to much to go for. He scores a 86.40. Allan Cooke wins gold!!! He still has a run - but he can't move down. 5 dead sailors will win it for him. He's ready though - he want his last run... so what do we get from him when he's already pocketing twelve grand? A loop x-up a x-up and then a perfect 360 whip. Nothing but style and skill from a guy who's riding for the glory now. A loop and a one-handed fist pump to Gold. That's a day ladies (I hope) and gentlemen (some of you). Ryan is denied once again and Allan gets the podium spot for the first time ever. The medal is his forever and he is joined by Ryan with another silver and Chris Doyle who beats out TJ Lavin who took the hardest bail I have ever seen on dirt.
DIRT RESULTS 1.Allan Cooke 90.47 2.Ryan Nyquist 89.53 3.Chris Doyle 89.47 4.T.J. Lavin 88.67 5.Colin Mackay 88.13 6.Brian Foster 87.93 7.Scott Wirch 85.53 8.Kris Bennett 84.20 9.Paul Kitner 83.60 10.Mark Kehl 82.93
|Jamie Bestwick and Koji Kraft were injured.
Bob Kohl, the guy who invented the superman, made his way back onto the vert scene big time after many years away from it in 2002. He not only made it to a bunch of events, but he made it to the finals of many of them... Back to back stuff. No-footed can can, a perfect 6 feet out tailwhip, 540, superman one-hander. He tried a flair which he pulls of way to far and lands way hard on the seat.
Chad Kagy did a flair right at the coping level and came within inches of pulling a barspin to tailwhip but he went down hard as he hung up his rear wheel on top of the deck.
Saturday night, Mat Hoffman pulled off the unthinkable in his second run .a no-handed 900. The Condor took a solid silver and an invite to next year Games.
Mat Hoffman, Transworld BMX december 2002: I had never pulled a no-handed 900 before. I've dreamt about it for a long time, but I never thought I'd figure out how to do it. Earlier this year, I just got the confidence I could pull it off, and I couldn't stop thinking about it. I couldn't think of a better stage to throw it down than the X Games. This trick is really the whole reason I wanted to compete this year. Not really to compete, but to approach it more like a show and ride with the rest of the vert posse on the deck to get psyched up and go for it. That was another good day on my bike, and I look forward to many more.
Dennis McCoy: barspin to barspin, 540 barspin attempt, flair.
John Parker did a no-handed 540 to a tailwhip on the other side and attempted a double whip.
Jay Miron: tailwhip superman way out, decade air, perfect 540 whip and then a huge whip, a nice 540 turndwown and a alley-oop 50-50 grind all the way across the ramp. He also tried his half decade half whip air at about 6 feet,
Jimmy Walker is working both directions like it's nothing and did a big opposite flair to prove the point. He also did 12 foot airs and threw a huge corkscrew flair across the transition.
Simon Tabron: no-handed 540. A turndown 540 landed hard, but clean. throws out the perfect 900.
Kevin Robinson : 540 about 6 feet out, switch handed 540 even higher than that, big flair to flair to no-handed flair ! After his score came up Kevin dropped back in. A few setup airs and he tried a no-handed to no-footed flair which he barely missed.
Dave Mirra big 540 and then a double whip FROM the 540! opposite flair one-handed ice-pick grind across 20 feet of coping. DAVE MIRRA WINS GOLD AGAIN!
Sebastien Bonnot, www.agoride.com: Il y avait du gros avec Dave Mirra qui nous a fait un run dont il a le secret trop de hauteur et des tricks de dingues à tous les aérials, flair to 540 ect le tout sous l'il de Matt Hofmann, qui soit disant ne participerait plus au contest et bien pour un mec qui soit disant a arrêté le ridind ça surprend en fait il est encore rentré dans la légende lui qui a pratiquement tout apporter à la rampe, back flip des sortie à 23 pieds et j'en passe et des meilleures, il nous a sorti un 900 no hand !!! Oui vous avez bien lu 900 no hand: Après ça son guidon a bougé et il a essayé de finir son run mais pas moyen, il était déchaîné, tous les gars sur la plate-forme se sont précipités sur son bike pour lui réparer mais sans succès! La fin de son run sonne, tout le monde est debout et l'acclame, un rider lui passe son vélo réparé, et c'est reparti juste pour le fun, il part en flair, 540 et tail whip air ! Il va embrasser sa femme et prend sa fille dans les bras. En troisième place c'est Simon Tibron qui nous sort un 900, flair et des runs bien propres, quant à Kevin Robinson il nous fera 3 flairs les uns derrière les autres et sur le dernier il le fait no hand, il a même tenté flair no hand no foot !!!
Paul Vail, www.bmxtrix.com: I actually have a few minutes to sit around and relax because of how quickly ESPN blew through flatland qualifiers this year. No money to be made means they just don't want to deal with it at all. Not really a bummer since the weather looked like it was getting ugly out there. Now though, things are looking much better as I look down over the vert ramp a good seventy feet below me. The stands are pretty packed and the vibe seems good as the riders warm up on top of the ramp. The question has to be whether or not Matt Hoffman can hold of the assault of Mirra or if Miron can step things up and become the one to watch out for this year. One fall in the run on any trick spells a score lower than that rider will need. Every rider simply has to throw down perfect runs or it won't be enough to help their score. We also found out yesterday that one big trick isn't even close to being enough to win a run. Mirra threw a huge whip 540 in the middle of one of his runs, but didn't back it up with other tricks during his run so the final score wasn't enough to put him on top. So what does Hoffman have to offer us after all these years? Why the same stuff he has always given us, plus some. He drops in and immediately is eight feet above coping throwing down a trick. A few pumps later he is pulling even more difficult tricks at the eleven foot mark. Going big is an understatement when you see him ride you understand what this means. He has it all, big air, big tricks, and mad skill to back it all up. In about three minutes, we will see if he has that back up with him tonite.
First run. Bob Kohl is the guy who invented the superman and he is nothing less than a super hero as he made his way back onto the vert scene big time after many years away from it in 2002. He not only made it to a bunch of events, but he made it to the finals of many of them... and now, now he is in the finals at the X-Games and will be our first rider to drop in. He drops with a one-hander thena lokiback staright ot a no-hander and a none footer - back -to back stuff is really blowing me away. Big x-up and a no-footed can can. He's about 6 feet out and throws a tailwhip perfect at that height. He sets up and pulls a perfect 540 for the crowd to screeam about. He goes around one more time and tries a flair which he pulls of way to far and lands way hard on the seat. I think that this run may be better than anything he had yesterday... and as the first rider whatever he gets he's in first place for a moment.
DMC (Dennis McCoy duh) was the wildcard entrant this year and he made the finals on the skills he has. He drops and pushes 9 feet out right away. A big can-can and then an invert. Candyabar thena barspin to barspin now a couple of setups and he throws a 540 barspin and goes down hard. Ouch - but not out. He drops again and has a flair to give us as his last trick as the buzzer sounds. Actually he gets 15 extra seconds after the buzzer if he wants it - he took about five of them.
Parker drops in and throws a big no-hander around 8 or 9 feet. A huge superman and then a no-handed 540 to a tailwhip on the other side. He goes into some lip tricks inlucing a tailtap and a icepick. A really big whip and he flies out onto the top of the deck and calls it a run. He easily is on top of the round of people so far.
Jay Miron, the Canadian Beast, is ready to drop into vert and looking to bring up his skill to show why he won silver last year and could even get gold this year if he puts it all together. He drops into the ramp and starts with a huge 540 where his foot comes off and he dabs the ramp. One footer, superman, tailwhip superman way out. Alley oop double peg grind and a decade air to finish things off. Jay spent a ton of time on that 540 which he shouldn't have so it probably isn't enough. Only an 84.40 with a bunch of riders left to go.
Chad Kagy is up now and throws a barspin then an invert now a x-up one-hander. Alley op and a good x-up he sets up and throws a tailwhip then a barspin to x-up 50-50 grind then a icepick grind now a flair right at the coping level. He manuals the deck and then pulls back calling it a run. He gets an 86.00 and second place.
Jimmy Walker is all set to drop into the ramp and show us how he does. He starts with a few 12 foot airs and then throws some inverts. A nice no-hander and a lookback. A one-hander and then a one-handed 540 which he slides out on. He jumps straight back up and pumps up the ramp. A few setups later and he throws a huge corkscrew flair across the transition. The buzzer sounds but the big tricks probably won't be enough because of the washout on the 540 early on. Just four riders left and there is no question that there is some room for improvement... We will see what Simon can do for that improvement. A can-can to start things off then a barspin and a one-hander one-footer. A x-up then a no-handed 540. A turndown 540 landed hard, but clean. He goes onto the deck and drops back in quickly. He sets up a few airs and throws out the perfect NINE OH OH - 900 and the buzzer sounds, he calls it a run, I would call it first place for him easily. It turns out the judges may not be asleep today as they agree and give him a 90.80 for first. But first for how long? Three guys beat him yesterday, can they do it again? You know they want to!
The first to try will be Kevin Robinson who will no doubt throw out just a few corkscrews for us to enjoy... A few back to back. He drops and shoots 8 feet out. No-hander then a x-up a big alley-oop then a one-footed can-can. No footer superman style and a big 540 and then a corkscrew, almost landed on his pegs on the coping. Whoa, he slides out on the other side but is back up again quickly. He drops in and he tries a big tailwhip but can't hang on. It won't be enough to beat the 900 and Tabron I'm sure. Only an 88.40, as if only second place is really 'bad' in this sport.
Mirra is up and the crowd is loud. Everyone knows him and he wants it. He drops and starts with a no-footed can-can and a x-up. A big 540 and then a double whip FROM the 540! He manuals the decka dn sets up he then throws the opposite flair and another tailwhip. He does a quicik one-hander one-footer. Then a big no-hander and finally a one-handed ice-pick grind across 20 feet of coping. He has it all and puts it together big. I mean, he puts it ALL together, back-to-back VERY hard tricks and incredible style. Color him first - way out in first with a 94.40 - over three points ahead of the competition!
But three points may not be enough when the Condor is about to drop in. Matt has invented more tricks and broken more bones then most of us could imagine. He holds the world record for highest air and he can throw down the 900 with Tabron, of course he can throw more than that and he does it about 12 feet out. He drops and starts with a huge no-hander then a double peg grab and a behind the back no-hander a big no-footed can-can and a lookback 540 straight to a flair which he slides out a little bit on.. but that'll hurt him - a lot. He sits on the coping for a second and looks at the ramp. That's it for his run and he knows it wasn't enough. He will wait for the next round to unleash the bomb.
Second run. Bob drops back in to start off the second round and begines with aone-hander thena lookback to a noo-hander a tire grab and a superman one-hander and a lookback. He is throwing everything back-to-back. A one-footed x-up and a lookback. Now a tailwhip way out. A few setup airs and some lip tricks, smith grind, manual... He goes for the flair to finish things off again and once again he goes down hard. He walk away and looks like he is okay, but that had to hurt.
We will have Dennis McCoy drop back in again and Dennis has got to step things up some to improve upon his current spot. Hew drops and sets up at 9 feet plus. A big invert then a x-up and a can can look back. A barspin to x-up and then a barspin to barpin back. A coupld of setups and a perfect 540. A couple more setups and it's a perfect flair, no corkscrew from him. A quick feeble and a tailtap finish things off in his runs. Defnitely an improvement on his last run - but maybe not enough to matter much... he steps up to a tie for 8th, but it probably won't hold.
Parker drops in for his last run and barspin to no-footer starts things off. A one-footer then a candybar to can-can. A no-footed can-can to no-footer and then a 540 with a little lookback going on. He takes a breather on top of the ramp and then comes back in with a few setup airs. He thorws out a double whip but can't hang on to the trick as he washes out at the bottom. It probably won't help his score at all. It doesn't, but fifth ain't to bad at all!
Jay Miron is looking to do a lot better than his first run, and he drops a few setup airs big... the perfect 540 whip and thena huge whip. He throws a few setups and then does a nice 540 turndwown and a alley-oop 50-50 grind all teh way across the ramp. A few more setups and a nice tailwhip but he slips the pedal on the landing. That will kill his score on this run. Not totally kill it, but there is no chance he is going into first with it. He drops one more time for gloyr and tries the half decade half whip air at about 6 feet, but it doesn't help him, he will do no better than third this year. He may be bummed but it was still an incredible showing from Jay this year.
Chad Kagy is ready to go again and he drops with a no-hander right away. A one-handed x-up and then a barspin to x-up then a x-up to a barspin. He throws a quick double barspin and a huge tailwhip about 7 feet out. A few setups and a bar spin TO tailwhip in the same air and he goes down hard as he hangs up his rear wheel on top of the deck. He sits up immediately and it looks like he is very grateful for the full face helmet (hint people, freakin' hint!). He walks away clean and scores a 84.60... Tell you what it would have been a lot more if he pulled that last trick.
Jimmy Walker is ready to go and drops he hits a couple of setup airs and an invert then a no-footer one-hander and a opposite no-footer one hander. A big no-hander then a 540. He's working both directions like it's nothing then does a big opposite flair to prove the point. He flies out for a few seconds and then drops again with a flair back the other way. Left or right, he's got it! But not as many tricks as some of the other guys are doing, yet mad difficulty. It is enough to move him up one spot to number seven.
Kevin is back in and thinking to IMPROVE on the 900 - but how. A big invert and a nice no-hander. A 540 with the hands off then a turndown 540. He flies out and drops in again, a couple of sets up and he throws down a corkscrew. He calls it a run there though - I'm just not sure if he didn't feel it today or was hurt but he had to go for it if he wanted to improve a 90.00 doesn't change his spot today.
Kevin Robinson is about to go for his last chance for a medal. He drops and thorws a no-hander then a x-up and a alley-oop. A one-handed can-can then a no-footer. A 540 about 6 feet out and a switch handed 540 even higher than that. A big flair to flair to no-handed flair BIG! A quick 50-50 grind and then that's it. Or is it? His score comes up and it moves him up to third, and Kevin drops back in. A few setup airs and he tries a no-handed TO no-footed flair which he barely misses, yet goes down hard.
Two guys left, and all the pressure is on this guy... Mirra. Yes, he's in first right now, but he has to know that Hoffman has another run to go and can do WAY better than the last run. He's looking at the ramp and is ready to drop... They give him the okay and he heads towards the coping. Boom double barspin on the first air and he loses it on the second air, weird! He slides out and then goes up onto the deck. Is that it? No, he drops back in and does a nice no-hander then a tailwhip. He throws a barspin to one-footer and then a huge flair at 8 feet out. The score won't be high, but the glory is already there. He can't do worse than second, and Hoffman will have to really impress to beat him.
Well, if you are going to run THE contest series to go to, have a bike company, be married and have kids then you get to ride your bike for fun in the X-Games you can't really complain. How he manages to maintain... or even improve is unreal. Matt is all set to go in his 'retirement' run (remember he retired last year from contests?). He drops on the yellow bike and starts with a no-hander then a PERFECT NO HANDED NINE HUNDRED then a 540 no-handed and a flair. His bars shift forward a little and he fixes them quickly. A little bit off for sure and it may kill his time. It has, the bars screw him up, damn technical difficulties! He comes in for glory and throws out the 540 toa flair to a whip then a 540 under coping. It could have been his today... but it won't be. A 91.40 it is. DAVE MIRRA WINS GOLD AGAIN! The Condor lands a solid, solid, solid silver and an invite to next years Games. So much for retirement.
VERT 1.Dave Mirra 94.40 2.Mat Hoffman 91.40 3.Simon Tabron 90.80 4.Kevin Robinson 89.60 5.Jay Miron 89.40 6.John Parker 88.00 7.Jimmy Walker 86.80 8.Chad Kagy 86.00 9.Dennis McCoy 84.40 10.Bob Kohl 83.20 11.Zack Shaw 12.Jim Burgess 13.Jay Eggleston 14.Stefan Geisler 15.Josh Harrington 16.Rick Thorne 17.Mike Mancuso 18.Eduardo Terreros 19.A. Saito
Mat Hoffman no handed 900.
|Everything took place August 10-11 in Woodward. Nathan Wessel built the track. Robbie Miranda won the race. Todd Lyons flipped the last set and crashed in his place.
Chris Hallman, www.expn.com: After nearly a week of fall-like weather, the hazy days of summer returned to crank up the heat for this year's X Games Downhill BMX Supercross at Woodward Camp. By high noon's anticipated start time the combination of sun, crowd, and track had Woodward Camp boiling over. In an attempt to upstage last year's event, Nate Wessel and the boys went back to the books and came up with a few new twists and turns to make the track even crazier than before. I'm going to go ahead and venture a guess that not since the movie "RAD" has BMX seen a track like this. After watching time trials the day before and practice Sunday morning, everyone was chomping at the bit to see the track in full blown race action. The trouble(if you're a racer)/excitement(if you're a spectator) began right from the start with the new "drop in" style starting gate. Basically the riders were locked and loaded looking straight down from a platform almost five feet above an unusually steep and transitioned starting hill. When the gate dropped they jumped out of the starting gate, landed in the starting hill, and almost immediately hit the first jump. This produced the effect of riders falling from the sky straight into the action, and in almost every round it provided the crowd with a good crash right out of the gate. To my knowledge, nothing like this has ever been done in BMX racing, and it made for a exciting day of racing.
For those who survived the start, the track ahead lay fraught with perilous gaps and high speed berms which kept the fevered pitch of the start alive until after the riders crossed the finish line. The first few straights were tight, packed with jumps, and split up with three nearly 180 degree berms. This was a good place to do some passing and get the order sorted before the 40 foot stepdown which was made even steeper for this year's race. When the riders landed off of the stepdown they were hauling. You could see their tires slide as they tried to hold a line though the next big sweeping berm, and if there were two side by side it was a hairy ride. From there it was more rhythm and more opportunity to pass before the huge jumps of the last straight away, which dwarfed the riders and made it look as if they were jumping over mountains. The racing in every heat was amazing. Robbie Miranda, the eventual winner, looked strong all day long, as did Randy Stumpfhouser, Bubba Harris, Jamie Staff, and Brian Foster. Unfortunately Foster got shut down and didn't make it past the second round, as did John Purse and last year's Gold Medalist Brandon Meadows. Another favorite who went out early in a blaze of "RAD" inspired glory was Todd Lyons. After falling early in the first round the "Wildman" got back up, finished the track, and went for a backflip over the huge final jump.
For the finals, I took a seat by the finish line to get a good view of the final moments. From this vantage point I couldn't see the top third of the track, and by the time the riders came into view heading for the stepdown, Miranda was already in the lead. Robbie held the lead for the remainder of the race, but the fight for second through fourth was a close one. By the final straight Robbie lengthened his lead to several bike lenghts, and all he had to do was hang on to win the gold medal. The race for second and third remained close. Kyle Bennett hung on to second with Robert Dewilde and Wade Bootes nipping at his heels. Heading for the final jump Robbie was still comfortably in the lead. He pulled up on the last jump, probably thinking of throwing a trick or just getting stylish as he crossed the finish line, but balance betrayed him and he threw off one foot shortly after take off. He sailed this way, one foot off, across the great chasm with Kyle and Robert still fighting for second, only to come crashing down upon the landing, a battered, bruised and dirty X-Games Gold Medalst. I'm sure he had a grander ending in mind, but really, what better way to win the biggest race of the year, and hey, he's the one wearing the gold medal. As I said before, every round was action packed, and there was no one place on the track to see it all go down. That's why you shouldn't miss this one when it airs on TV. It's going to be a great show. "Now that's how you finish the X-Games!" -Random spectator reaction to Robbie Miranda plowing into the earth to take the win as this year's X Games Downhill Champion.
The crowd watches on as Robbie Miranda takes flight and lets the kickstand fly in preparation for a hard landing and his second straight X Games Gold Medal. Photo by Chris Hallman.
DOWNHILL 1.Robbie Miranda 2.Kyle Bennett 3.Robert de Wilde 4.Wade Boots 5.Matt Pohlkamp 6.Jamie Staff 7.Bubba Harris 8.Randy Stumpfhauser 9.Justin Loffredo 10.Brian Schmith
|Ryan Nyquist, Transworld BMX december 2002:
Wednesday: The only thing I have to do today is show up for dirt practice. After practice, the ESPN production crew pulled a few of us in their studio area to do some TV interviews. These are the things that pop up on the bottom of the TV screen right before our runs.
Thursday: Things picked up quite a bit today. My day started out with a 7:30am wake-up call, and at 8:00am I had a driver waiting to take me to the hotel where all the ESPN staff was staying. They wanted me to ride around the streets and get shots of me riding the subway to the X Games. It was pretty cool, but definitely took much longer than they said it would. There was about three hours of street practice scheduled, and being that it was about 95 degrees with crazy humidity, I used around an hour of it. You could only ride for twenty minutes before having to stop and drink some water and just get out of the sun. It was pretty ridiculous, as well as totally draining.
I had an hour break between park practice and dirt practice, which I would have liked to have spent in the air-conditioned athlete lounge, but instead, fans wanting autographs mobbed me. So, I sat in the sun and signed away. Not that Im complaining, but sometimes it gets overwhelming, and a five-minute walk from the park course to the dirt jumps can turn into an hour or so.
Before dirt practice, I was able to hang out with a young boy from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. For those who arent familiar with Make-A-Wish, its an organization that takes terminally ill children and grants them any wish theyd like. Its really a great thing. Anyway, this young boys name was Drew, and his wish was to meet and hang out with me before the dirt jumping competition at the X Games. Drew's a really cool and fun kid, and we hung out for a while and goofed around. It was probably the best time I spent at the X Games this year. My only hope is that it was everything he expected and wanted.
The prelims started at 6:00pm, and ended around three hours later. It was quite a long process, and by the end of it, I was so ready to go back to the hotel and relax. So thats exactly what I did.
Friday: So were at the halfway point of the X Games, and its the height of the madness for me. I got another 7:30am wake-up call, and had a cab waiting for me. At 9:00am, Butterfinger candy bars (my newest sponsor) was holding a conference at a local park, and wanted me to be there. They were kicking off a new contest promotion by shooting a lady 150 feet out of a rocket into a net. Everything went off without a hitch, and by 11:30, I was in a limo, heading back to the hotel to pick up all my gear and head right back to the contest. There was a scheduled park practice from 11:00am to 2:00pm, but I opted not to take advantage of it, due to the heat and the fact that I had dirt finals later that evening; I didnt want to tire myself out.
I sat and relaxed for a while until dirt practice started at 2:30. There was close to 40,000 people in the crowd, and when they cheered, you felt it. It was like being in the movie "Gladiator." It was very, very cool. Anyway, as usual, the comp was awesome and some really cool stuff went down.
OK so heres where it gets a little hectic. The crowd wants you to sign autographs and wants you to give them anythingyour bike, your wallet, your sweaty socksit doesnt matter. Usually I sign for a while and then make my way back to the hotel, but not tonight. Adidas was holding a little get-together for the release of my new shoe, the Nyquist 2, and I had to be there around 7:00pm. Now, seeing as it was around 6:00pm when I got done riding, I had very little time to get out of the stadium, get back to the hotel for a shower, and then make my way to the press conference. So I signed as many hats and posters as I could in 10-15 minutes, and moved on to the next task: getting out of the stadium without getting mobbed by fans. I gave my team manager my gear bag to take back to the hotel, and gave my girlfriend my bike and car keys and asked her to bring the car to the front of the stadium for me. Then, in a full sprint, I ran through the crowds in the concession area, trying to avoid stopping at any cost. I stopped for a few pictures and a couple autographs, but that was it. I got outside, ran to the car and hopped in, and we drove back to the hotel. No time for a shower, so I changed my clothes, threw on some deodorant, and got in a cab. I got to the place a little late, but they werent stressed about it.
I was there for about 45 minutes before I had to leave to go to an ESPN Magazine reception for the X Games issue. I got there around 8:30pm. They wanted me there because I was an athlete featured in the magazine, and they had a big, blown-up poster of the photo they used and wanted me to sign it. They had food there as well, and I definitely took advantage of that.
At around 9:30pm or so, I went back to the Adidas conference, which was now a party that The Familie (the agency that represents me), Butterfinger, and Adidas were throwing. I stayed there for about an hour, and then I went back to the hotel. I was too exhausted to shower or do anything after all that running around, so I went right to bed.
Saturday: At this point, my body is starting to feel a little tired and sore, and the days seem longer and longer. Another 7:30am wake-up call, this time just to give me plenty of time to wake up and eat breakfast. I had an interview with Starz Encore at 10:00am, but I asked them if we could push it back to 1:00pm so I could get some much-needed practice on the course. They were cool about it, and I practiced for a while in the blazing heat. Someone told me that there was a heat index of 110 degrees that day, and I really dont doubt it. I stopped practicing, did the interview after I cooled off, and got through park qualifying with a third place. After that, I went inside the athlete lounge to watch the second heat on TV. That was nice. I stayed in there for a few hours until around 5:00pm. Then I was escorted to the Adidas booth for an autograph session that lasted about an hour and a half. I watched the vert finals later that evening, and got back to the hotel around 9:00pm. I had dinner with my girlfriend and some friends that came down from Boston, and then went to bed around midnight.
Sunday: Okay, so now my body is just outright soreno ifs, ands, or buts about it. And Im so ready to go back to my normal, quiet life back in Greenville. This day started just like the others: early morning wakeup call, eat breakfast, the whole deal. Get to the venue by 9:30am for a 10:00am autograph signing at the X Games Hall of Fame booth. I did that for about an hour, and then went to the park course to get some last-minute practice in before the big show started. I have to admit that the course wasnt exactly my favorite, but I was slowly getting used to it. Finals started at around 2:30pm and went on for about an hour and a half. It was a pretty crazy contest with a lot of good stuff being thrown down. I did some interviews and signed a whole bunch of autographs right afterwards. I then got all my stuff together, drove to the hotel, packed my bags and loaded them in the car, and drove out of Philly, away from the stress of the X Games, and went to Woodward for two days to enjoy myself.