America’s Jamie Bestwick continued his domination of BMX Freestyle Vert at the latest edition of X Games, adding yet another gold medal to his collection after winning the event that went down at Nokia Theatre in L.A. Live, Los Angeles, on Saturday, June 30.
Australia’s Vince Byron finished in runner-up place to take home the silver medal, while America’s Simon Tabron rounded out the podium to claim the bronze.
The best riders from around the globe had converged to Los Angeles to compete for a place on the podium in front of a massive crowd. Despite the huge pressure, the athletes were expected to put on nothing but the most exciting performances to exhibit their progress over the year and take home a medal for it.
Bestwick, however, once again separated him from the rest of the pack with his phenomenal performance. The 40-year-old Pennsylvania-based rider had been dominating the event for the last five years and despite failing to make much of an impact in the qualifiers, he dominated the finals on Saturday.
Soaring three to four feet higher than his rivals and landing plenty of technical manoeuvres, which included the return of down-side tail-whip to turn-down after seven years, during his runs, Bestwick seemed as unbeatable as ever. He earned a couple of 43.00 off his best runs to finish with a total score of 86.00. The score remained well out of the reach of the other riders to eventually seal the fate of the final in his favour.
“What a contest,” he said. “I can’t express how the level of competition has come up over the years. I’m very grateful.”
Revealing why he had decided to land a flair double whip after last dropping it the 2005 X Games Best Trick, he said, “There were rumors that I spent the past six months locked away in some special training camp in the hills of Pennsylvania, and I figured if that’s what you think, you can have one of my old ones first and then I’ll start dishing out the new ones after that.”
The 22-year-old Byron scored a 37.00 and 35.00 off his best-two runs to finish with a total score of 72.00, consequently walking away with a silver medal.
Tabron made it to the podium as well after finishing with a total score of 72.00, which comprised of a couple of 36.00-point runs.
Australia’s Steve McCann barely missed out on the podium after finishing with a total score of 70.00, while America’s Austin Coleman and Chad Kagy rounded out the bottom-two positions after finishing with a total score of 64.00 and 63.00.