X Games 15 BMX Blog - Saturday
11:20p.m. PST: It looks like we're going to call it curtains for BMX at X Games 15. We saw a lot of great action from all four disciplines within BMX, and if you've been following along with our live blog, well you got the inside scoop on the daily minutia of X Games life. I for one am beat, so thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoyed the blogging and don't forget to check out ESPN BMX all year long for the latest news, rumors, photos, features, videos and more. See you soon. BT
9:20p.m. PST: And we are done with X Games 15.
Ah, the memories.
It seems like just yesterday, I was setting up my two computers on a plastic table in the corner of a production tent. And now, sadly, it's done and gone.
It's been a very good week though, consisting of some of the most cutting edge riding from vert, park, big air and street. I for one hate to be the guy that picks out what was better than everything else, but it's also part of my job, so I'm going to try to do that without coming off like I don't appreciate each and every BMXer in X Games 15. It's an honor just to get invited -- but to come out, go nuts, try over and over again at something that might be possible, you don't get to see that everyday in BMX.
I know we as a subculture bemoan competition, but I can't lie, it pushes some already amazing riders to do the once-thought-impossible, and that's pretty great. So here's what stood out to us, the guys sitting in the tent at X Games 15 late on a Saturday night.
Anthony Napolitan and BMX History: The double frontflip is now a pulled move. Anthony didn't medal in Big Air, but he definitely made history, and he couldn't care less about seemingly getting ripped off by the judges. He was just psyched to pull the trick.
The 900: Just over twenty years ago, the 900 was an unpulled move. Mat Hoffman changed all that, but the trick laid dormant for a long, long time. It's reared its head here and there throughout the years, but X Games 15 saw the unveiling of the 900 as a trick to be sessioned regularly during a comp. Simon Tabron upped the 900 ante with a one-hand, one-foot 900, and the sky seems to be the limit for the now-sessionable vert move.
Progression in Street: United Bike Co.'s Ian Morris and Dean Hearne said it best: "The qualifying video could've been a real banger video released to the public." Most riders will spend a year or so putting together a full-length video part. Take ten of those riders, throw them into X Games 15 street, and there's your video. And that was just qualifying. Street was simply insane. Props to everyone that competed, pulled new lines and walked away. The boundaries of street riding moved a few years ahead on Friday.
Adaptation: The park course was severely mixed up this year. Mainly concrete, with wooden surroundings, a capsule and a few mind-bottling moments for the riders that were invited. Fortunately, park riders are an adaptable bunch, and we got to see some of the best park riders in the world adapt their moves to a wild X Games course. Scotty Cranmer, Diogo Canina and Gary Young -- the park world is your oyster. Congrats boys.BT
6:41 p.m. PST: Sometimes, vert can be painful to watch. Today, unfortunately, would be one of those times. Fortunately for Jamie Bestwick, he nailed two stellar runs before going down hard on his head and shoulder after hanging up a tailwhip 540. Those scores were high enough to propel Jamie into the first place spot, where he remained for the second half of the final jam session. Jamie's tricks included alley-oop downside whips, a perfectly nailed nosedive tailwhip 5 earlier in the session, opposite and regular flairs and consistent flow and style. Chalk up a three-peat for X Games gold in vert for Jamie Bestwick. Feel better dude. In second was fellow U.K. vert competitor Simon Tabron, who has now added one-hand one-foot 900s to his vert repertoire. Simon has the 9 on lock, but he mixes that up with a wild batch of variations, including barspin to tuck no-hander and smooth carving flairs. Third place went to Chad Kagy, who went down several times on double flair attempts. While still on the bike, Chad nailed flair whips, opposite flair whips and barspins to tailwhips, but a few slide outs and time constraints kept Chad from getting his dream run in. I've also gotta mention the number of 900s througout the entire vert comp. Tabron, DMC and Tim Wood all pulled consistent 900s throughout the day. And that is no joke. As for new tricks, well I gotta give it up for Kagy's opposite flair whip and Tabron's one-hand one-foot 900. As is the case with vert, even though Jamie and Dennis went down hard, I gotta end this by saying that I'm glad that everyone walked away from the vert comp. That in itself is a major accomplishment. BT
6:15 p.m. PST: Vert Final Results:
1. Jamie Bestwick
2. Simon Tabron
3. Chad Kagy
4. Jimmy Walker
5. Dennis McCoyBT
5:33 p.m. PST: Advancing to the finals in Vert are the top 5 riders from the first set of heats, which are Jamie Bestwick, Dennis McCoy, Simon Tabron, Chad Kagy and Jimmy Walker.
Lots of burly, scary and awesome 900s happening. Bestwick also pulled a nosedive whip 540. I hate to be all emo, but it was pretty amazing.BT
5:11 p.m. PST: First Vert heat is done. Bestwick in first, Jimmy Walker in second. The air horn to let the riders know that their time is up is destroying my ears.
On deck now is Tim Wood, Chad Kagy, Jay Eggleston, Dennis McCoy and Simon Tabron.BT
4:53 p.m. PST: We're seconds away from competition. There's speculation Chad Kagy gonna go for a double flair. Kevin Robinsons the one and only rider to pull a double flair. Kagy has never pulled on on competition and last round of Dew Tour he knocked himself out cold trying one. He said he knows what he did wrong and feels confident he can make it happen.CY
4:52 p.m. PST: We are 15 or so minutes away from vert finals. Jeff Tremaine is checking the action with us. He used to be the art director for a little BMX magazine called Go in the early '90s. Then he went on to produce the "Jackass" series, "Wild Boyz" and that "Rob and Big" show. BMX influence has a way of getting around.BT
4:30 p.m. PST: So somehow, we just started talking about vert setups. Here's the deal: bars pushed forward, longer back ends, lower bottom bracket height, 100psi tire pressure.
Vert legends Brian Blyther and Mike Dominguez are on hand watching the comp with us. Well, watching practice right now.
"Mike D. can do whatever the f he wants." - Mat HoffmanBT
4:15 p.m. PST: BMX Blog Mini Interview: Mat Hoffman
Who do you think is going to win vert?
It's going to be a tough call.
What's your role here?
Head judge. I watch the numbers.
What were you just doing?
An autograph session. Man, I am the fastest signer in the world.
Where did you get your Airwalk shoes from?
Germany, these are the same shoes I used to wear when I was 17. I love how you can feel the pedals good. Plus, with the lace saver, I don't have to tie my shoes. It makes going through the airport easier.BT
4:08 p.m. PST: Bestwick has 7 X Games medals and were he's just about to go for his 3rd Gold Medal. The question is, will Kagy and Tabron give him a run for his money? Rumor has it Kagy and Tabron have some brand new tricks they want unveil. If they do, Bestwick says he'll reach deep in his pocket to fire out stuff he's had on the backburner for a while. Let's hope Kagy and Tabron bring it 'cause it'll be one heck of an event. We're just moments away from chaos!CY
3:58 p.m. PST: Tabron and Bestwick are doing sign language across the rampit's pretty funny. Even though these guys are competing for money and bragging rights for the rest of the year doesn't mean they can't have a good time. Bestwick just finished playing some air guitar to Metallica blasting over the loud speakers.CY
3:56 p.m. PST: At vert warm-ups now. As expected, Jamie Bestwick is winning practice. Well, I'm joking. You can't win practice, but you hopefully get my drift. Chad Kagy is on the deck and riding. He made it out of big air in one piece and seems to be like the ramp. Same goes for K. Rob, who's been up on the deck riding, and was also spotted at a CA Starbuck's earlier this morning.BT
3:54 p.m. PST: I just asked DMC who he thinks will win vert and he said, "If I had to put my money on it, I'd say Bestwick."CY
3:43 p.m. PST: I'm sitting up on the vert ramp talking to Chad Kagy while he takes some runs. He mentioned it's really hard to adjust to such a small ramp after riding the mega ramp! Can you believe that! He's got some big plans lined up since they get five 30 second runs. He said if things go as planned he'd like to throw down a barspin flair and a flair double whip.CY
3:25 p.m. PST: I just climbed my way on top of the vert ramp. The fans are starting to pack in the Home Depot Center. Kagy, Robinson and DMC are already taking some practice runs. The weathers spot on and this should be insane vert contest!CY
2:49 p.m. PST: We are at vert practice now. Things are slow going though. The comp doesn't start for another two hours. How do we pass the time before the comp? Listening to stories from Mat Hoffman about being in a Flaming Lips parade, riding in a wheel chair dressed as a skeleton.
The Flaming Lips are a band from the Oklahoma City area, where Mat is also from, so they're old pals.BT
2:34 p.m. PST: Video of the winning Park run.
2:15 p.m. PST:"Well, at least Diogo knows what it's like to win..." -Random Park SpectatorBT
1:45 p.m. PST:Park finals just finished up. What a mess. A good mess, but messy nonetheless. Here's why: there are two heats in the beginning. Five riders in each heat, 10 riders in total. The two heats run, and the top five scores from both of those heats go on to the final finals. I know it's confusing, but it works pretty well. Unfortunately, before we got to the final finals, the announcer called the results as the final results, awarding Diogo Canina first place. Diogo was surrounded by his friends, doused with water and put up on someone's shoulders to celebrate.
And then we got word to him that he actually had to ride again.
In the end, Diogo finished in second, but he seemed visibly bummed. I would be too. Here's some highlights from the top three though.
1. Scotty Cranmer: Insane gaps into and out of the concrete. Double whip backflips, frontflips and a huge flair over the capsule channel. Scotty also knows the format, so while everyone was getting psyched for Diogo, he was getting ready to ride the final finals.
2. Diogo Canina: Insane flair transfers, 360 flips out of the concrete, tailwhip flips over the hump in the concrete. Won X Games for about five minutes before everything got straightened out.
3. Gary Young: Gary won qualifying, and perhaps because of the "First in Qualifying Curse," fell back to third. He eyed up some of the most creative lines in the park course, fired them out, then went back and fired them out faster and with turndowns in them.
In all, it was a great comp that unfortunately got overshadowed by some organizational confusion. But hopefully Diogo Canina is happy with his silver medal. It's good to see Scotty Cranmer back on top. He's been missed in the park comps. Congrats guys. BT
1:35 p.m. PST:Oh yeah, here's a little Web tip. If you're not seeing the latest blog entries, you can "Cache Bust" the page. Just add an & to the end of the URL plus a random string of letters (like this: http://www.espn.com/action/news/story?id=4369487&retretretretre). That will make the latest info show up. -BT
1:29 p.m. PST: Winners are: Scotty Cranmer with a flip double whip up the step up, followed by Diogo Canina with silver and Gary with the bronze!CY
1:21 p.m. PST: Some trick updates from the finals:
Guettlerback to back 720s!
Corey Bohan just crashed on a front flip attempt.
Cranmer just flip whipped the step up and then pulled a front flip flyout.
Canina just killed it with a flair over the key hole and a flair whip.CY
1:13 p.m. PST: The final round is underway, Gary Young just crashed in the middle of sick run that included a 3 whip over the box.CY
12:47 p.m. PST: Five riders advance to the super finals now. Diogo Canina, Scotty Cranmer, Corey Bohan, Gary Young and Ryan Guettler.
What a mess. The announcer called the first heat of runs as the final results, so Diogo thought he won X Games 15 for about a minute.BT
12:32 p.m. PST: I thought Jeremiah rode awesome, he's sitting 4th right now but pulled a triple whip, bar to whip and bar to tuck. He's stoked right now!CY
12:19 p.m. PST: First heat is done. Canina in the lead, Corey Bohan in second and Gary Young in third.BT
12:14 p.m. PST: Some trick call outs from Park:
Diogo Canina just flaired over the bowl channel and Jeremiah just put down a dialed run ending with his signature superman seatgrab air.
Jeremiah Smith, Barspin to tuck no hander.
Chase Hawk just put together a dialed flowing run, hitting everything top speed and including some big 3's. He's getting a rave response from the athlete staging area and guys are stoked on his riding.
Gary Young hit the big transfer again from the box lip up over the channel and onto the quarter deck.
Diogo just pulled an insane 360 flip transfer!
Jeremiah just pulled a triple tailwhip!CY
12:01 p.m PST: Scotty says his back is bothering him a little bit but he's ready to go. He fell on a front flip riding some concrete park before X Games and compressed his spine a little. He rode good in prelims though so well see. He said, " I'm just gonna try and stay consistant, use the whole course and place big tricks where I can."CY
11:51 a.m. PST: We are 13 minutes away from the start of park finals. And I'm in the judges tower with Mat Hoffman and the Jackass crew. It seems like Diogo Canina is holding back some stuff, so we can expect him to be going nuts.BT
11:42 a.m. PST: I'm at the Park course just awaiting finals to get underway. All the riders are getting in their last minute interviews and warm up runs before things get underway.
I think it's gonna be interesting to see if defending champion Daniel Dhers can put together a winning run. He's had some rough practices and a broken bike but says, "Im good to go today, I feel good, I know what I'm gonna do and if it works out awesome. If not, I'll come back next year with a vengeance!"CY
11:37 a.m. PST: Coming to you live from the Park course. Diogo Canina just 360 flipped out of the concrete and onto the deck. He's catching a little bit of tranny on the landing, but still landing really hard. Diogo is a nut.BT
11:15 a.m. PST: And we're off. Welcome to the weekend. This is the final day of BMX events for XG15, and we're about an hour away from park finals. Rather than indulge you with more than you'd care to read about, we're going to head on over to the park course to check out some practice. Corey Bohan is looking good so far, but when has that ever not been the case. Be back in 15 ...BT