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The View from Down Here: My X Games Observations

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That’s all folks, another year of the Summer X Games has come and gone! Here is my best attempt at a “politically correct” review of the weekend’s events…

The Venue-

It was a weekend full of humidity, sweat, and dirt bikes. While the venue (Circuit of Americas) was absolutely beautiful, the outdoor course left riders at the mercy of mother nature. And mother nature decided to be a bitch causing very treacherous riding conditions in the form of wind. But what did promoters expect? Building an event of this magnitude that involves primarily high flying events in a big open field is just asking for trouble. 

Rider safety is the most important thing and hats off to ESPN and X games officials for doing the right thing... (Photo: Shane Ruiz)

Rider safety is the most important thing and unfortunately the venue had nothing around it to shield off wind. Which proved to be an issue causing the usual high flying FMX riders to be grounded due to unsafe conditions. Hats off to ESPN and X games officials for doing the right thing!
(Photo: Shane Ruiz)

The Invites-

Usually I can pick apart the X Games invite lists because they make ABSOLUTELY no sense, but this year was honestly the best it has even been. I still think Destin Cantrell should be in Best Whip without question…but I have come to terms with the fact that for reason only aliens will ever know, it wont happen. And don’t forget Todd Potter, the guy still has one of the biggest whips on the planet! Speed & Style had to me what was the four fastest riders in FMX line up for the semis. Step Up was dead on the money and Freestyle had the makings of one of the best line ups ever.

The ALMOST had all the invites right...but they forgot Todd Potter! #LETPOTTERWHIP (Photo: Shane Ruiz)

They ALMOST had all the invites right this year…but they forgot Todd Potter!
#LETPOTTERWHIP
(Photo: Shane Ruiz)

The Wind-

After a number of meetings with the riders, X Games officials decided to run a shortened version the Speed & Style main event, which was crazy to me. The wind gusts were brutal and although I haven’t talked to him, I assume it is what caused Lance Coury to hit the deck in Speed & Style. The wind also claimed Javier Villegas earlier in the day during practice leaving him with a fractured femur, causing him to pull out of the main. At the end of the day…it was the riders who decided to ride Speed & Style, but X Games was very understanding of their wind concerns and shortened to length of the races.

Mike Mason won his fouth Speed & Style gold but later told Jamie Little this may have been the scariest event he has even ridden, “My tricks are what I would have normally done warming up, but I just wanted to get through it and concentrate on my speed.” (Photo: Garth Milan)

Mike Mason won his fouth Speed & Style gold but later told Jamie Little this may have been the scariest event he has even ridden, “My tricks are what I would have normally done warming up, but I just wanted to get through it and concentrate on my speed.”
(Photo: Garth Milan)

This is going to sound crazy, but I was pumped they cancelled Freestyle. X Games and the riders tried their best to make Freestyle happen, but after multiple wind delays…it just wasn’t safe enough for the riders and X Games officials were forced to call it!

The Hits-

Tom Parsons came in with a cast on his leg and still whipped the hell out his CRF 450 to claim Best Whip gold as a rookie.

Ronnie Renner calmly secured his fifth Step Up gold.

After some equally aggressive riding…Jarryd McNeil and Mike Mason had nothing but high-fives at the finish line of their Speed & Styles semi.

I was also pumped on the Speed & Style riders taking a bad situation and turning it into a positive, riding a scaled down version of what a normal Speed & Style event would have looked like. Even though they didn’t get to throw all their big tricks and cased the crap out of some of the jumps, the riders decided they needed to give the fans SOMETHING and thats what they did.

This was just moments before Lance Coury hit the deck...hope Lance is felling better. Thanks Lance for not being scarred and going for it no matter what! (Photo: Fox Racing)

This was just moments before Lance Coury hit the deck…hope Lance is felling better. Thank you Lance for not being scared and going for it no matter what!
(Photo: Fox Racing)

Once again…good on the X Games officials for recognizing a unsafe situation and cancelling Freestyle!

The Misses-

F**k wind…

I am still in shock how quick Buyten hit the bar in Step Up…Buyten will be back in 2015 with vengeance, I am calling him for the win!

I was always under the impression that if you rode FMX you were a pretty solid dude…I guess not, someone protested Tom Parsons riding in Best Whip with his cast. Come on dude…

It was a bummer to see guys pulling out last minute this year with injuries. Wishing speedy recoveries to Andre Villa and Nate Adams!

And it was absolute hart-break for Javier Villegas…after working SO hard to come back for a leg injury, the Rockstar Energy rider was the victim to a wind gust causing him to crash and re-injure the same leg.

THAT’s IT, see you next year!