../events/X-Games 12

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Date: Thursday, August 3rd, - Sunday, August 6th, 2006.
Place: Los Angeles, CA.

www.expn.com: BMX rider Dave Mirra, the most decorated athlete in X Games history, lacerated his liver during practice and will miss the event. The 32-year-old Mirra landed awkwardly after a jump during practice at the Home Depot Center in Carson on Wednesday and was taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, where he was diagnosed with a Grade 2 laceration. A representative from Mirra's camp said the rider was still in the hospital and will spend another night as a precaution but isn't in any pain and is expected to make a full recovery. Mirra will miss the X Games for the first time after competing in the first 11. He's won 20 X Games medals, including 14 golds, and is the defending champion in BMX Park.
Fat Tony, www.ridebmx.com, august 2006: The Vert contest was absolutely out of control as nine of the world's top riders competed for the gold medal at ESPN's twelfth annual X Games. The rider pool was cut to nine after Mirra crashed in park practice and pulled out of this year's X Games. Highlights from tonight's Vert contest include:
- Chad Kagy pulling a flawless first run including a flatspin tailwhip and a flatspin barspin. We aren't saying 540 and we aren't saying tailwhip because Kagy's flatspins were in between the two. Throwing a whip or a barspin into one is nuts but doing both back to back is unthinkable -- which is precisely why Kagy took home the win. In addition, Kagy threw out super difficult moves like the superman seatgrab barspin.
- Jamie Bestwick is on another level as far as how he carves, pumps and airs a vert ramp, but that is no secret. Tonight Jamie used the whole ramp carving in both directions and threw down flairs-whips, huge superman seatgrabs and 540.
- Simon Tabron put together solid runs including multiple 540 variations and a perfect 900 in each of his runs.
- Kevin Robinson successfully pulled both a no-handed flair and an opposite no-handed flair.
- Jimmy Walker rode as he usually does -- high, fast and with variety. 540s, flairs, and different combos throwing his limbs off the bike were all in Walker's bag of tricks tonight.
- Dennis McCoy busted high airs, flairs, 540s and then knocked his face on his handlebar crossbar on a 900 that he landed a bit low.
-Tom Haugen fit in well with the vert dogs and is looking mighty comfortable on the big ramp. His superman seatgrabs were really impressive along with his double tailwhips and toothpick-to-barspin.
- Jay Eggleston is no stranger to vert competitions but at this one, although he rode well, just didn't have the huge moves judges were looking for.
- Koji Kraft, to no surprise, did more variations on each wall than you could keep up with -- and did so back to back. But what is surprising is how he seemed to loose his composure and not put together a solid run. He was disappointed with his performance but clearly having a good time.
Chad Kagy 2006 X-Games BMX Vert
Chad Kagy catching the bars during the world's first flatspin barspin ever pulled in a competition. Photo by Jeff Zielinski.

Chad Kagy doing the flat spin 540 double whip.

1 - Chad Kagy
2 - Jamie Bestwick
3 - Simon Tabron
4 - Kevin Robinson
5 - Jimmy Walker
6 - Dennis McCoy
7 - Tom Haugen
8 - Jay Eggleston
9 - Koji Kraft
www.expn.com: Robinson's double flair (a backflip into a corkscrew) was more than good enough to earn him the gold in the BMX Freestyle Vert Best Trick contest, a prize that has eluded him for more than a decade. Robinson beat out silver medalist Chad Kagy and bronze medalist Simon Tabron. Fittingly, the three-time BMX Freestyle Vert bronze medalist earned his first gold by finally landing a trick he's been chasing for years. "This was three years in the making, it's the end of a three-year-long day," said Robinson. "I took off and it felt light the whole way through until I hit bottom."
Kagy, who earlier in the evening won gold in the BMX Freestyle Vert, tallied his second X Games 12 medal by landing a double tailwhip flatspin.
Tabron grabbed his second X Games 12 bronze medal with an Alley Oop No-Hander to Turn Down 540. Earlier in the evening, Tabron won bronze in BMX Freestyle Vert. "I'm happy to get third in the middle of all this mayhem," said Tabron. "The best thing is that everyone came up healthy. History was made tonight, and there were no casualties."

Kevin Robinson double flair.

1 (Gold) Kevin Robinson Double Flair
2 (Silver) Chad Kagy Double tail whip flat spin
3 (Bronze) Simon Tabron Alley oop n/h to t/d 540
4 Kevin McElhinney Front flip flair
5 Koji Kraft Double tail whip
6 Jimmy Walker Turn down flair
7 Jamie Bestwick Archibold Air
www.expn.com: Youth was served Saturday when New Jersey's Scotty Cranmer, the youngest BMX rider at X Games 12, grabbed the gold medal in BMX Freestyle Park. In doing so, the 19-year-old Cranmer (aka: The Bulldozer) improved upon his silver medal performance at last year's Summer X event and threw down the gauntlet for next year. Morgan Wade won the silver medal while Daniel Dhers rode off with the bronze. "This event is so awesome," said Cranmer following his victory. "The riding levels are out of this world. This course couldn't have been better. It was a good day." Cranmer's winning run was a fluid masterpiece and included a tailwhip drop in, a double whip over the big hip, a 360 double whip over the step-up ramp and a front flip turn down over the step up.
Wade took silver with two pocket airs, a hip to the wall to a massive hip landing. Like Cranmer, the Tyler, TX native was complimentary of the world-class park course. "The two pocket airs were the strength of my run," said Wade. "This course was so fun. These are mumbo-jumbo ramps."
The 21-year-old Dhers captured the bronze in his first X Games appearance by putting together a run that included a 360 bar spin tail whip, a tabletop flair and a double whip air. Afterward, the Venezuelan was thrilled to take his place on the podium. "I've always dreamed of coming here," said Dhers. "I've been watching the X Games since 1998. It's harder with just 10 people in this event, so to medal is pretty exciting. My dreams are finally coming true."

Fat Tony, www.ridebmx.com, august 2006: The scene shifted today from the Staples Center in LA to the Home Depot center in Carson, California. The outdoor venue was packed with people getting sunburned (myself included) and watching some crazy BMX riding. This year's park course was, once again designed by ramp builder extraordinaire, Nate Wessel. And once again, Nate came up a unique design that opened things up for riders to get really creative. If you've been keeping up with our coverage of this year's X Games, you already know that Scotty Cranmer took the win with Morgan Wade and Daniel Dhers placing second and third, respectively. And if you've been keeping up, you also know that after winning last year's event (as well as several prior to that) Dave Mirra was not in this year's contest due to an injury he sustained during the first day of practice. What you may not know is that Ryan Nyquist also dropped out of the contest. Nyquist won a silver medal at the Dirt contest two nights ago, but a crash during park practice messed up his knee and prevented him from competing in Park. Below is a list of highlights from each of the ten riders during the park finals.
- Scotty Cranmer absolutely killed the course. He placed second behind Dave Mirra at last year's X Games and came back this year to prove what he is worth. His first run was good enough to give him the gold so his second run was a victory lap, but Scotty didn't hold back. He gave the fans what they paid to see: a full run with enough back to back tailwhip and flip variations to keep anyone entertained.
- Morgan Wade is awesome. His fun personality combined with his powerhouse riding and huge tricks makes it impossible to stop smiling while watching him ride. He started off both his runs with a pocket air transfer that was close to 25 feet long. The middle of his runs consisted of plenty of bangers like flairs and a 360-whip. At the end of his second run, Morgan pulled another pocket air transfer and secured his second place finish.
- Daniel Dhers was the only rider wearing a full-face helmet during the park contest. Luckily Daniel is a machine on his bike and the helmet never had to do its job. He landed every trick perfectly every time including double whips out of the quarter, 360-whips, barspins, no-handed flairs and a whole lot more.
- Australia's Dave Dillewaard narrowly missed a podium spot after delivering two solid runs including 270 and 360 inverts, tailwhips and barspins.
- Gary Young placed at a respectable fifth and busted wallride-to-tailwhips, 360-whips and other high speed moves and transfers.
- Ryan Guettler came to the X Games after being the winningest BMX rider of 2005. This year however, other riders put in their practice time during the year and were able knocked Guettler off the podium. Ryan pulled 720s, flairs, whips, 360-whips, and even attempted a 1080 that took him out at the end of his second run.
- Colin Mackay was one of the alternates that made it in after Mirra and Nyquist dropped out. Mackay had an interesting tailwhip line from the "coffin" into the landing of the box hip. He also had 540s, barspins and other whips thrown into his runs.
- Alistair Whitton's most impressive move was his 360-downside whip over the stepup. Other than a downside whip and some tables and lookbacks though, he didn't have anything else that was very noteable. It seemed that he lost his rhythm when a huge disaster on the wallride gave him trouble. - Josh Harrington was one of the few to drop in on the roll-in and boost the box hip. Unfortunately, it was the big air that caused him to crash at the start of his first run which in turn messed up the rest of his run. However, Josh did have some impressive whips, barspins and a superman seatgrab transfer.
- It is no secret that Chase Hawk has an amazing style, but after making it into his first X Games as an alternate, he couldn't put together big enough moves to impress the judges. His bangers were a 180 up the stepup, big, stylish airs and clicked 360 inverts.
2006 X-Games park
Park designed by Nathan Wessel

Morgan Wade 2006 X-Games BMX Park
Morgan Wade had two of the biggest lines during the Park finals. This corner pocket air is from the quarter on the right to the landing on the left. Photo by Fat Tony.

1 (Gold) Scotty Cranmer 91.66
2 (Silver) Morgan Wade 90.00
3 (Bronze) Daniel Dhers 89.66
4 Dave Dillewaard 87.66
5 Gary Young 87.33
6 Ryan Guettler 86.66
7 Colin Mackay 85.66
8 Alistair Whitton 84.66
9 Josh Harrington 84.33
10 Chase Hawk 82.66
www.expn.com: Cory Bohan rode to an unprecedented third-straight gold in BMX freestyle dirt at X Games 12 on Thursday evening at the Staples Center. The Australian native came into this year's competition as the only rider to win back-to-back BMX freestyle dirt gold medals. Following a winning run that included a no-handed, one-footer to tailwhip, a one-footed table 360 and a bar-spin tail whip, he let the crowd know that he has no intention of letting up. "The three-peat is fantastic, and what to do now is keep winning," says Bohan. "The no-hand one-foot, to be able to put it into a run and hold it throughout feels unbelievable."
Ryan Nyquist (Greenville, NC), winner of more BMX Dirt medals than any athlete in X Games history, added to his total with a silver-medal win on Thursday. Nyquist's medal run included a 720 bar spin and a backflip double barspin. "It feels good. I had a chance to do a great run," said Nyquist. "I'm happy with second. In past years I was in eighth and 10th, so it feels good to be on the podium."
Anthony Napolitan, 19, of Youngstown, Ohio, was competing in his first X Games and took home the bronze with a run including a three double whip and a tire grab to no-handed front flip. Said Napolitan, "X Games is the biggest action sports contest of the year. It's the event everyone recognizes. This is amazing. I feel great."

Brian Tunney, www.digbmx.com, august 2006: Corey Bohan first place, Nyquist second, Anthony Napolitan third. New moves included 720 truckdrivers (Nyquist), no-hander one-footer to tailwhip (Bohan), 3 pulled triple tailwhips (Cameron White), tailwhip to superman seatgrab (Ryan Guettler), 180 turndown over the last set of huge doubles pulled (Aitken), and Cory Nastazio taking his clothes off. Well, ok, I know that's not a new move, but it did bring an air of Chippendales-like quality to X-Games dirt, and that made me laugh.

Fat Tony, www.ridebmx.com, august 2006: I'm still sitting in front of the dirt jumps at the Los Angeles Staples Center as I type this. There is too much going on to even hear myself think. But here it goes … highlights from this evening's dirt contest in order of how the rider placed.
- Corey Bohan pulled solid runs (obviously) including flips, whips, 360 variations (in both directions) and more.
- Ryan Nyquist pulled the X Games' first ever 720 barspin.
- Anthony Napolitan pulled runs like a no-handed frontflip, double tailwhip, and a 360-whip.
- Chris Doyle rode first in the contest and came out with a flawless run. However he couldn't put together a full run after his first.
- Ryan Guettler came to the X Games with a pink bike (as Morgan Wade predicted in his bike check last week on our site) and rode well like always -- pulling frontflips, 360-whips, 720s and more. - Mike Aitken 180-lookbacked the third jump and pulled the rollback clean, even as he rolled backwards up the wooden roll-in.
- Allan Cooke showed up with a bronze plated bike and pulled a superman seatgrab backflip over the third set.
- Luke Parslow pulled his runs consistently in practice but the 360-whip over the last set was giving him troubles and he couldn't hold it together when it counted.
- Cameron White pulled a triple tailwhip (which has never been done at the X Games) over the first set perfectly in all three of his runs. Unfortunately he never put a full run together. His attempts at a huge frontflip transfer held him back.
- Cory Nastazio did a did a backflip over the first set in his first run and couldn't land smooth enough to clear the second jump. Then in a practice run between other riders, he bailed on a frontflip and sat out the rest of the contest. His ACL injury was obviously keeping him down.
1 (Gold) Corey Bohan
2 (Silver) Ryan Nyquist
3 (Bronze) Anthony Napolitan
4 Chris Doyle
5 Ryan Guettler
6 Mike Aitken
7 Allan Cooke
8 Luke Parslow
9 Cameron White
10 Corey Nastazio
Fat Tony, www.ridebmx.com, august 2006: The Big Air contest capped off X Games 12 today in Carson, California at the Home Deopt Center. Four riders took three turns each rolling in the three-story roll-in, jumping the 50-foot double and airing the 27-foot quarter pipe. In the end, Kevin Robinson's no-handed flip followed by a no-handed flair was enough to beat out Chad Kagy's backflip double tailwhip and double tailwhip air. The crowd booed Kagy's second place finish, thinking he should have won, but on both huge tricks Kagy's feet slipped off the pedals a little bit. Allan Cooke pulled an x-up flip in his first run then went down twice trying a double tailwhip over the 50-footer. This was the first time Morgan Wade had ridden a ramp this monstrous but he still rode it like a pro, pulling a clean superman whip and a 360. After the contest was over, Kagy and Robinson did side-by-side flips over the jumps as a crowd pleaser.

www.expn.com: In one of few surprise finishes at X Games 12, Kevin Robinson won the inaugural BMX Big Air event. Fellow Woodward rider and Robinson's best friend Chad Kagy had logged the most pre-X practice time on the ramp and was the favorite for gold headed into the final event Sunday evening. Kagy, instead, went home with silver. Allan Cooke took bronze. The gold was the second for Robinson, who also won Friday night's BMX Vert Best Trick competition by landing the sport's first double flair. Kagy won BMX Vert that same night and took silver in Best Trick. Robinson won the BMX Big Air event with a backflip tuck no-hander to no-handed flair. "I'm psyched," Robinson said after his medal-winning run. "That's the biggest no-handed flair I've ever done in my life. I'm just glad I landed rubber-side down."
Kagy took silver with a flip double whip to double tailwhip, a crowd favorite. "That was an amazing competition and all we had was two days practice," said Kagy. "Hopefully soon we'll have one of these mega ramps to ride on a regular basis. That will make next year's competition 10 times as crazy."
Cooke took bronze with a flip X-up to X-up. "Yesterday was my first day on the ramp, and I have more potential than I showed today," said Cooke. "Hopefully ESPN will stick with Big Air and I get invited back next year."
Morgan Wade, the only other rider in the event, landed a 360 to air in the competition.
Allan Cooke 2006 X-Games BMX Big air
Allan Cooke getting ready to drop in. Photo by Fat Tony.

Kevin Robinson 2006 X-Games BMX Big air
Kevin Robinson. Photo from www.expn.com.

1 - Kevin Robinson
2 - Chad Kagy
3 - Allan Cooke
4 - Morgan Wade