BMX Vert lights up Austin Capitol
Jamie Bestwick won his ninth consecutive gold medal in BMX Vert on opening night of X Games Austin on Thursday, riding in the shadow of the Texas State Capitol building. Bestwick held off challenges from Simon Tabron and Dennis McCoy, who took silver and bronze, respectively, thanks to big tricks like a front flip flair, alley-oop tailwhip turndown, flair tailwhip and 540 one-foot seatgrab combo.
Eight plus one
"When I broke the record last year, that was stressful," said Bestwick, who set the X Games mark for the most consecutive wins last year with his eighth victory in a row at X Games Barcelona. "I really wanted that record. Everything after that is just seeing how long it can hold up."
Simon Tabron, silver
Forty-year-old Brit Simon Tabron came to Austin with 12 X Games medals and will leave with his sixth silver after finishing second to fellow Briton Jamie Bestwick in Thursday's vert final.
Dennis McCoy, silver
Dennis McCoy, 47, is the second oldest athlete at XG Austin (Ricky Johnson, 49, is competing in RallyCross) and he's the only athlete to compete in every BMX Vert competition in the history of X Games. Austin marks his 21st X Games appearance.
On Day 1 at the inaugural X Games Austin event, 12,000 spectators showed up in downtown Austin to take in a free-to-the-public display of vertical vengeance.
Mykel Larrin, 26, pictured here, and Vince Byron, 24, were the only two athletes in the BMX Vert field under the age of 30.
Travis Pastrana, who will compete in RallyCross on Saturday, watched the BMX Vert finals at the Texas State Capitol along with his daughter, Addy, and his wife, pro skateboarder Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins Pastrana.
This podium marks the first time in XG history that the top three medal athletes were all 40 or older.
Lucky number 13
Bestwick, who won his first X Games medal in 1996, now has 13 career X Games golds. "I hope I'm inspiring my generation of riders, and younger riders, too," Bestwick said. "I hope they look at me and see that if you keep working hard and taking care of yourself and enjoying the sport, there can be longevity in it."