America’s Mike Brown claimed his first X Games gold medal after riding to victory in Men’s Moto X Enduro X finals that went down at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, July 1.
The other two spots on the podium were filled up by American riders as well, with Cody Webb finishing in runner-up place to clinch silver medal, while Cory Graffunder walked away with the bronze.
The best Endurocross riders from around the world had gathered at the X Games venue to square-off in front of a massive crowd at one of the biggest stage of action sports.
Polish rider Taddy Blazusiak was considered to be the favourite in Sunday’s Enduro X finals. The 29-year-old rider had clinched gold medal at the event’s debut at X Games and continued the dominating form to secure victories in the subsequent 2011 American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Geico Powersports Endurocross championship to eventually emerge as the overall winner. Despite a less-than-ideal start at the opening stop of the 2012 season, he rose back to the top spot last month.
With such an excellent record and seemingly formidable form, there was very little reason to doubt his chances of asserting his dominance in X Games. Any doubts regarding his status of being the favourite to win the gold medal at the latest edition of X Games evaporated after he qualified for the final in first place, 9.411 seconds ahead of Brown.
However, the finals featured a huge upset as Blazusiak failed to come out of the gate cleanly and later took a fall in the firewood pit.
The 40-year-old Brown, on the other hand, rode cautiously and consistently throughout the course of the 10-Lap race, which featured rock piles, firewood pit, water and tires. Even a crash during the race did not cause him to lose position and thus he eventually rode his way to the top of the podium.
“To win a gold medal at my age? It gets harder every year,” Brown said. “The track got tough in the main, but it’s kinda Supercross-y so it fits my style.”
The 24-year-old Webb finished almost four seconds behind Brown to secure a place on the podium and walk away with a silver medal.
Graffunder completed the race nearly five seconds after Brown crossed the finish line, therefore walking away with the bronze.
The defending gold medallist Blazusiak finished just off the podium, over seven seconds behind the winner of this year’s finals and consequently went home medal-less.