X Games Update #5 – Vert Highlights and Photos: August 4, 2006

Once again we are bringing you this news straight from inside the arena just minutes after the competition has ended.The Vert contest was absolutely out of control as nine of the world’s top riders competed for the gold medal at ESPN’s twelfth annual X Games. The rider pool was cut to nine after Mirra crashed in park practice and pulled out of this year’s X Games. Highlights from tonight’s Vert contest include:

– Chad Kagy pulling a flawless first run including a flatspin tailwhip and a flatspin barspin. We aren’t saying 540 and we aren’t saying tailwhip because Kagy’s flatspins were in between the two. Throwing a whip or a barspin into one is nuts but doing both back to back is unthinkable — which is precisely why Kagy took home the win. In addition, Kagy threw out super difficult moves like the superman seatgrab barspin.

Chad Kagy catching the bars during the world’s first flatspin barspin ever pulled in a competition.  credit: Jeff Zielinski

– Jamie Bestwick is on another level as far as how he carves, pumps and airs a vert ramp, but that is no secret. Tonight Jamie used the whole ramp carving in both directions and threw down flairs-whips, huge superman seatgrabs and 540.
– Simon Tabron put together solid runs including multiple 540 variations and a perfect 900 in each of his runs.
– Kevin Robinson successfully pulled both a no-handed flair and an opposite no-handed flair.

Kevin Robinson pulling a clean opposite no-handed flair moments after completing a regular opposite no-handed flair … as if that is a “regular” thing to do.  credit: Jeff Zielinski

– Jimmy Walker rode as he usually does — high, fast and with variety. 540s, flairs, and different combos throwing his limbs off the bike were all in Walker’s bag of tricks tonight.
– Dennis McCoy busted high airs, flairs, 540s and then knocked his face on his handlebar crossbar on a 900 that he landed a bit low.
-Tom Haugen fit in well with the vert dogs and is looking mighty comfortable on the big ramp. His superman seatgrabs were really impressive along with his double tailwhips and toothpick-to-barspin.
– Jay Eggleston is no stranger to vert competitions but at this one, although he rode well, just didn’t have the huge moves judges were looking for.
– Koji Kraft, to no surprise, did more variations on each wall than you could keep up with — and did so back to back. But what is surprising is how he seemed to loose his composure and not put together a solid run. He was disappointed with his performance but clearly having a good time.