BMX Vert Finals
Welcome to X Games Asia 2010. The first event to go down for the extended weekend was today's BMX vert competition. As the inaugural event of X Games Asia 2010, no one knew what to expect, but the crowd was on-point, the riding was out of hand, and the sun, well, we all look like lobsters. But enough about us Celtically challenged folk; let's talk Jamie Bestwick.
An hour prior to pro vert finals, Bestwick stood next to the ramp, looking to lighten the atmosphere at X Games Asia. "This ramp looks awesome -- I'm being sarcastic," he joked. Bestwick further kidded about his street riding exploits, new tricks in the works and his young son's ramp riding abilities. Then, the seasoned British vert vet padded up, put on his game face and started to practice under windy conditions in the Yangpu District of Shanghai, China. Two hours later, he had won yet another BMX vert gold medal at X Games -- his first on Asian soil.
With runs that included back-to-back flair variations at height, 540s in the 8-foot range and tailwhips in a variety of forms (including a double downside whip -- new to Bestwick's comp repertoire), Bestwick finished in first place, followed closely by fellow U.K.-to-U.S. transplant Simon Tabron, who seemed to have issues with the windy conditions. "The wind is stopping my rotation in alley-oops," said Tabron. But that didn't stop Tabron from nosing in two perfect 900s, an x-up cancan 540 and stylish airs in the 10-foot range.
In third place was a new face to the X Games podium, Greenville, N.C., resident Austin Coleman, who flowed the ramp with opposite and regular airs, tailwhips in both directions, flairs and more. As a young gun in the vert class, Coleman was on the receiving end of some friendly hazing from Tabron and Bestwick. But in the end, the hazing ended with some friendly laughs, and the top three finishers celebrated together with a meal at Pizza Hut.
Rounding out the top five were Chile's Coco Zurita in fourth place and Australia's Vince Byron in fifth.
Skateboard Street Qualifying
With competitors from all over Asia, Skate Street Qualifying was most certainly a salad bowl of styles all mixed together for the hungry crowd to enjoy. Brazil's Tulio de Oliveira was ripping with consistently smooth lines and flip tricks. Hong Kong's Johnnie Tang, aka "Banana," was doing great nollie back heels and front feebles on the high handrail without the slightest hint of effort. Tyler Cannon, formerly of Los Angeles and now a Shanghai resident, had the best last name of the contest.
The rest of the day was filled with practice for skate, BMX and aggressive inline, along with most of the X Games crew learning the rules of the Shanghai roads as we traveled by bike from the venue back to the hotel. To put it bluntly, a traffic lane for both a bike and a car is nothing more than a suggestion on the roads of Shanghai, which leaves for some rather unorthodox commuting. Check back Friday for more action from X Games Asia, including Skate Street finals.