Four days of X Games flew by so fast, and the last day brought a lot of chaos. I’ll be recapping the best moments soon, but in the meantime, here’s the final set of observations and comments.
- It’s interesting to note that while Skateboard Big Air had a bunch of very young skaters, BMX Big Air mostly consists of veterans (mostly of vert).
- There’s still an age gap which, according to announcer Dennis McCoy, is delineated by the willingness to run down the MegaRamp.
- Anthony Napolitan, Morgan Wade, and Alan Cooke are the only non-vert riders to have ever competed in Big Air.
- It was nice to see Morgan, Kevin Robinson, and Chad Kagy back in action.
- Only on the MegaRamp is Simon Tabron considered a “rookie”. He actually had to attach brakes to his bike for the event.
- Zack Warden’s first backflip bike flip with a triple tailwhip (oh the alliteration!) came in second to Morgan’s no-handed flip with an invert. Why? Morgan got more amplitude.
- I learned two new terms from announcer Jimmy Coleman: “boo birds” and “speed wobbling”.
- Morgan is wearing the same outfit from when he ruptured his spleen exactly one year ago. He must really love the T-shirt because he had to sew it back together.
Photo by Ryan Fudger (Transworld BMX)
- Apparently they don’t remove your ruptured spleen in Brazil.
- Kevin has dislocated his shoulder five times in the past two year: three at X Games 2010, one while giving a motivational speech, and one after he got into a car wreck. He also mentioned that it kept popping out after X before his surgery.
- Zack did improve on his score by going over the 64-foot gap.
- However, on his last run (the last run of the night), Steve McCann defended his gold with a very clean no-handed double front flip with a double tailwhip over the big gap.
- Endurocross is the most diverse event with 12 countries represented.
- I loved how the Sport Science clip included some biology (my specialty) with the physics. I can’t believe riders reach up to 95% of their maximum heart rate.
- The course builders spent the last 18 hours adding the enduro obstacles. A new one for this year is the “matrix” which consists of logs placed apart at the exact width of the bike.
- The women’s course is a little different, but they still have to contend with water, rocks, and firewood.
- The X Games official who helped Tara Geiger out of the rock pit looked very pleased with himself.
- Patience appears to be key, as Maria Forsberg passed Louise Forsley on the second to last lap. She wound up leading by 15 seconds.
Photo by Brown Dog Wilson (viceversamx.com)
- Last year’s gold medalists in the Men’s race, Taddy Blazusiak, was undefeated the rest of the 2011 season.
- Jeff Aaron rode a two-wheel drive bike (they tried to explain how it worked, but I didn’t understand).
- Taddy said the pool was the deepest he had ever ridden through and that the “swim” during qualifiers was “refreshing”.
- Apparently there is an X Games researcher named DJ Smith who gives announcer Cameron Steele all the facts. Can be an X Games researcher?
- Advice for aspiring enduro riders: never wait in line to get past obstacles.
- Mike Brown got the holeshot in the finals and held the lead, even with a last lap crash and Cody Webb hot on his tail.
- The RallyCross course originally had a metal ramp jump similar to the one at the Global RallyCross race in Texas, but that was replaced with a table top after two horrific crashes in practice. Only one them involved the ramp, and that was Toomas “Topi” Heikkinen’s wreck (which was featured on Yahoo!). The other crash involved Marcus Grönholm hitting a light pole.
- Here’s some commentary and science on what having a larger, all-metal means and why it’s got some rally fans upset.
- You do not want Brian Deegan on your tail. He was relentless in chasing down Sverre Isachsen in his heat even though he already had a qualifying spot.
- Poor Travis Pastrana just can’t get a break in rally this year. He got T-boned at the first GRC race, and then he dislocated his shoulder in Texas. At X, all the cars chased him down until he was driven into a wall and struck by Andy Scott. The damages were irreparable, and unlike at other races, he wasn’t allowed to use teammate Bryce Menzies’ car.
- Andy got DQ’ed from the heat, but the judges determined that he didn’t hit Travis intentionally so they let him race the LCQ.
- Ten guys in the final is just asking for carnage.
- The OMSE team (Brian Deegan, Tanner Foust, and David Binks) were strategizing so that one of them could win for Marcus and Topi.
- The penalty for an early start is dropping back one car length. There were quite a few jumpy drivers.
- Brian tried to argue with the X Games official about his early start, but camera replays don’t lie.
- It gets up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit inside a car, and drivers experience 3Gs at the start (to compare, it’s about 7Gs on top the Hot Wheels loop or while somersaulting in fighter jet).
- Even though Sébastien Loeb was called a “newcomer”, he’s an eight-time World Rally Champion.
- Ken Block managed to hang onto second with a flat tire and Brian charging his way through the pack to third.
- When I voted for Real Street Fan Favorite at the last minute (it was July 1 midnight central time), Collin Provost led against Manny Santiago by just 57%.
- Nyjah Huston and Chaz Ortiz were both nursing injuries, but from a casual perspective, you couldn’t really tell by their skating. To me, Nyjah did look a bit off his game; Tony Hawk noted that he was favoring one knee.
- Chaz is very deliberate in approaching rails. You can see him slow down.
- Paul Rodriguez made switch tricks look easy.
- There was only a point difference between the top three: Paul Rodriguez, Ryan Sheckler, and Nyjah Huston.
Congratulations to the last batch of winners: Paul Rodriguez (Skateboard Street), Sébastien Loeb (RallyCross), Steve McCann (BMX Big Air), Nyjah Huston (Real Street), Collin Provost (Real Street Fan Favorite), Maria Forsberg (Women’s Enduro X), and Mike Brown (Men’s Enduro X).
Prediction Status: 6/15
Quote of the Day: “Missing the thingy” – Tony Hawk
Trick of the Day: Zack Warden’s Iron Lotus + triple tailwhip
Inspiration of the Day: Maria Forsberg – Electrician on the weekdays, endurocross champ on the weekends, this is one badass woman.
Question of the Day: Who did you vote for in the Real Street finals?