Byron wins BMX vert at XG Asia
For the second year in a row, Australian BMX pro Vince Byron topped the podium for BMX vert at Kia X Games Asia in Shanghai, China. The young Australian finished with an overall score of 79 ahead of fellow Aussie Steve McCann, who finished with a silver medal, and veteran X Games vert competitor Chad Kagy, who won the bronze medal during his first X Games appearance since breaking his femur last July in Los Angeles.
Byron spent the majority of his runs landing effortless double tailwhips in the nine-foot range, as well as repeated flair tailwhips and 540 tailwhips. And when not on the deck of the vert ramp, Byron spent the majority of his time practicing flat ground maneuvers near the vert ramp as the vert field waited out a rain delay on Sunday in Shanghai.
In second place, McCann continued to display his advanced progression through the vert ranks, landing a variety of tricks that included 540 tailwhips and double tailwhips, as well as airing in the 10-foot range and landing smooth as glass. Just hours before the competition, waiting out the rain delay, McCann and bronze medalist Kagy discussed the prospects of winning in the athlete lounge. "Winning is great, but being able to handle not winning is just as important," said McCann.
Upon his silver medal announcement, he smiled, walked proudly to the podium and waved in appreciation to the crowd.
Following closely behind McCann in the bronze medal slot was Kagy, whose runs flowed effortlessly between stylish one-handed x-up flairs, stretched superman seatgrab Indian airs and a nearly pulled flair double tailwhip. Kagy spent a good deal of time off his bike following a femur break at X Games 17, but from the looks of his determined runs in Shanghai, which tied McCann for second and were later broken during results tabulations, Chad Kagy is back and ready to do battle.
Following the top three slots in BMX vert was rookie X Games upstart Mykel Larrin in fourth place and Coco Zurita in fifth place. In Larrin's first X Games appearance, he landed opposite double tailwhips straight into regular downside double tailwhips, as well as stylish can cans to tailwhip airs. His runs were cut short on a barspin to downside tailwhip air bail, but Larrin returned to the deck of the vert ramp and rode the remainder of the contest despite being injured by the crossbar of his handlebars. In fifth place, Zurita, who also missed X Games 17 due to an injury, was back in full force with high airs, smooth landings and his trademark carving nac nac flairs.
BMX vert was postponed due to a rain delay at X Games Asia 2012. Despite the ongoing threat of rain throughout the afternoon, the 10 vert competitors took advantage of a dry window within the afternoon to open the first day of Finals at X Games Asia 2012.
|BMX Vert Finals -- Sunday, April 29|