X Games Dirt

RYAN NYQUIST WINS X GAMES DIRT As many of you probably already know, yesterday was X Games dirt; 20 guys trying to make the cut during the day, 10 badasses going for the gold at night.If you could have seen some of the stuff that got throw down there...well, if you could have seen it, then you probably wouldn’t be reading this, so maybe it’s good that you didn’t. I’ll try and fill you in on some of the highlights.

Qualifying
The deal with qualifying was that each guy got three runs; the lowest score of those three would be dropped, with the other two getting averaged together for a final ranking. Here’s what my tape recorder had to say after qualifying was said and done:
Ryan Nyquist -- Qualifies first with a 90.10 average; riding tack sharp and super smooth as usual.
Cory Nastazio -- Pulls a crazy looking whipflip in the third round to knock Mike Aitken to third and take over second with an 88.90 qualifying score
Mike Aitken -- Turndown to 180 rollback over the third set; almost pulled it in the third round. Qualifies third with an 87.90

Cory Bohan’s one-handed no-footed can-can might have been one of the most mild-mannered tricks he laid down all night.  credit: Mark Losey

Cory Bohan -- How I missed talking about Cory Bohan’s runs I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure he qualified fourth
Stephen Murray -- Goes for the backflip three turndown but crashes in the last round. Still, with an overall score of 86.50, he’ll qualify fifth.
Chris Doyle -- King of the super clicked turndown three; pulled a ton of other stuff super smooth; he’ll qualify sixth with an 86.00

BFD–Brian Foster Domination. Inverted three table.  credit: Mark Losey

Brian Foster -- Although Darrin Reed did the transfer lines first, I’d have to say the Falcon did them better; big turndown over the first transfer, plus the best table three’s out there. He qualified seventh with an 85.90
Joey “Whitesnake” Marks -- Rode amazing and qualified eighth with an 85.60
TJ Lavin -- After taking it hard in practice yesterday, TJ threewhips the last set in the third round to qualify ninth with an 85.40
Allan Cooke -- Pulls the double tailwhip in his second run, then a superman flip in his last round, going from 17th to being tied for 9th with TJ – 85.40 overall
Rob Darden -- Goes in 10th with an 84.60 overall
Steven McCann -- Fires out a 720 and barely gets away with it; tries to pull it more smoothly a second time and crashes hard. He just missed the cut with an 84.20 – 11th
Colin MacKay -- 84.20 overall, tied McCann for 11th
Jerry Bagley -- Rode super well, and finished out the day with an 82.30 overall; 13th place
Kyle Forte -- 80.60 ranked 14th
Rumauld Noirt -- Don’t know much about this guy; he’s from France and finished with an overall 78.80 – 16th
Mark Kehl -- Finished with a 74.90 overall -- 17th
Darrin Read -- Not sure exactly where he finished, but I do remember he was down for the big transfers.
Ryan “Biz” Jordan -- Biz is either untouchable, or way, way off. His 70.70 overall tells the story, but still, I’ve gotta give him props for boosting the crap out of the first set in his third round -- no tricks and the crowd still went crazy.

Finals
Four hours later, the stage was set for the world’s 10 best guys to go head to head. When the lights went off, and the spotlight came out with music blaring, everyone knew it was about to get serious. By the time the announcers had gone through the top ten, I’d be wiing to bet everyone had goosebumps; there was that much hype. I was beyond stoked, both nervous and excited for every one of those dudes. If you’ve never been to the X Games before, you have to go just to experience that feeling before the finals; it’s unreal. Here are some of the highlights from each guy’s runs:

TJ Lavin -- Five X Games medals (two of them Gold), and the pressure of never having finished outside the top ten was how TJ went in. His first run scored him an 84.60. His second run he pulled a big turndown flip over the first set and a superman nothing over the last set, for a second round score of 87.00, and after seeing his score, the crowd was definitely not too psyched; they definitely wanted to see it a lot higher. TJ’s third run highlights were a decade over the third set and a superman three over the last set for an 85.80 -- again, the crowd’s not psyched on the scoring. 86.40 overall and TJ was definitely bummed.

Big Al whipped inside the Staples Center
Click here to watch it.  credit: Mark Losey

Allan Cooke -- Allan goes from 17th to 9th in his last qualifying run to make the finals. He scores an 87.60 in his first run, then an 83.30 in his second run from a hard crash over the second set on the first straight, but digs deep to pull a superman backflip over the last set. His third run ends with a superman seatgrab and you could tell his knee or ankle from his earlier crash was definitely hurting him. 84.20 overall ended the day for the former X Games Champ.

Joey Marks -- Joey’s first run scores a 76 after a crash. In his second run, he almost pulled a barspin to tailwhip over the second set in the first straight, but still, it’s only good enough for a 79.80. In his last run, Whitesnake flipwhips the second jump in the three pack, but can’t hit the next set, and ends with a flip on the last set. He finishes with a 79.30 overall, which is awesome considering this was his first X Games appearance and he made the cut.

BF --The king of big tranfers, Brian’s 86.40 first run followed by a second run score of 86.20 will keep him sitting fifth. Falcon’s third run was a big landing-to-landing transfer to start things off, then a lip-to-lip transfer that ended in flames. He got up and ended his day with a turndown three over the last set and an overall score of 86.30. Definitely awesome for a guy who qualified for Downhill, Park and Dirt.

Chris Doyle -- The 2002 X Games Bronze medalist started things off good with an 89.00 first run score. Chris’ second run had a sweet 360 X up to turndown on the last set, which was enough to keep him in the top three. Doyle’s third run ends with an X up tailwhip, and he finishes the day with an overall 89.50. At this point, he’s ranked first, but look who’s still left to go...

Second time was a charm for Stephen Murray’s double backflip.Click here to see it.  credit: Mark Losey

Stephen Murray -- After winning Gold in 2001 then not making the cut last year, you could tell Stephen was ready to throw down. He pulled off an 81.60 for his first round score after crashing on a double-backflip attempt over the last set (you should have seen the crash -- definitely gnarly). In his second run, he nailed the double backflip (taking out the cameraman on the landing), giving him a 93.80, which moved him into fourth. In his last run, he crashed going for a turndown three flip scoring an 81.60 for that run.

Cory Bohan -- After qualified at Woodward West’s CFB roughly a month earlier, Cory started things off with a downside threewhip in his first run, scoring an 89.80 right off the bat. On his second run he pulled an opposite three table, but crashed on a 720 attempt over the last set. Still, good enough for an 81.00, which gave him an 85.40 overall after second round. In his third round, he pulled a 720 over the last set and scored a 90.00, going from eighth to first with an overall score of 89.90. But again, look who’s left...

Mike Aitken -- This was Mikey’s third X Games appearance and he definitely had a few things up his sleeve. He scored an 87.60 on his first run, then an 86.60 on his second run. That put him in fourth for the time being with an overall of 87.20. Mikey’s last run saw the turndown 180-to-fakie out on the last set, almost pulling it, then the big 720 attempt over the last set to crash, which got him a 79.40; obviously the score he’d wind up dropping.

Hide your daughters–Nasty’s in the house.  credit: Mark Losey

Cory Nastazio -- Probably the most stylish, flamboyant rider in BMX, the 2000 X Games silver medal winner was ready to pull out all the stops. Nasty scored a 79.60 on his first run after a flipwhip went sour, then an 80.20 on his second run for a threewhip over the third set on first straight, but a crashed whipflip on last set. A 79.90 overall for Nasty after the second round now ranked him ninth. In his third round, Nasty threewhipped the third set clean, then pulled a flipwhip on the last set scoring a 91.80 and ending his day with an overall score of 86.00. You should have heard the crowd go ape shit on that flipwhip... the place got loud

“I want to win this much…” Nyquist nothing no-footed can-can… to barspin.  credit: Mark Losey

Ryan Nyquist -- After qualifying first, the pressure was on. Could the eight-time X Games medalist add a third Gold to his collection? His first run saw a huge suicide no-handed flip over last set for a score of 92.60--he was definitely starting things off big. His second score of 79.20 would drop him to fifth, with an 85.90 average; he got loose over the second set and couldn’t make the third, then slid out on a 720 over the last set. As his third run was about to go down, all eyes were focused on him; he was the last guy on the roll in, under the spotlight, and the crowd was on its feet--total pressure cooker time. Would he go for the rumored 1080? He needed an 87.22 for X Games Gold, so it didn’t seem likely. On the first straight he spun a 720 over the second set, then on the second straight barspun the first set to a nothing no footed can can-to-barspin over the last set. As soon as he landed, the place errupted. It didn’t even matter what his score was; everyone knew he had done it again.

As soon as Ryan’s last score was announced, he was promptly mobbed and drenched with Mountain Dew, and pretty much any other liquid anyone had. You should have seen the look on his face; it was definitely an amazing moment. He had survived the pressure, put together an awesome final run, and came out on top; from eighth to first, for his third X Games Gold; simply arun, he nailed the double backflip (taking out the cameraman on the landing), giving him a 93.80, which moved him into fourth. In his last run, he crashed going for a turndown three flip scoring an 81.60 for that run.

Cory Bohan -- After qualified at Woodward West’s CFB roughly a month earlier, Cory started things off with a downside threewhip in his first run, scoring an 89.80 right off the bat. On his second run he pulled an opposite three table, but crashed on a 720 attempt over the last set. Still, good enough for an 81.00, which gave him an 85.40 overall after second round. In his third round, he pulled a 720 over the last set and scored a 90.00, going from eighth to first with an overall score of 89.90. But again, look who’s left...

Mike Aitken -- This was Mikey’s third X Games appearance and he definitely had a few things up his sleeve. He scored an 87.60 on his first run, then an 86.60 on his second run. That put him in fourth for the time being with an overall of 87.20. Mikey’s last run saw the turndown 180-to-fakie out on the last set, almost pulling it, then the big 720 attempt over the last set to crash, which got him a 79.40; obviously the score he’d wind up dropping.

Hide your daughters–Nasty’s in the house.  credit: Mark Losey

Cory Nastazio -- Probably the most stylish, flamboyant rider in BMX, the 2000 X Games silver medal winner was ready to pull out all the stops. Nasty scored a 79.60 on his first run after a flipwhip went sour, then an 80.20 on his second run for a threewhip over the third set on first straight, but a crashed whipflip on last set. A 79.90 overall for Nasty after the second round now ranked him ninth. In his third round, Nasty threewhipped the third set clean, then pulled a flipwhip on the last set scoring a 91.80 and ending his day with an overall score of 86.00. You should have heard the crowd go ape shit on that flipwhip... the place got loud

“I want to win this much…” Nyquist nothing no-footed can-can… to barspin.  credit: Mark Losey

Ryan Nyquist -- After qualifying first, the pressure was on. Could the eight-time X Games medalist add a third Gold to his collection? His first run saw a huge suicide no-handed flip over last set for a score of 92.60--he was definitely starting things off big. His second score of 79.20 would drop him to fifth, with an 85.90 average; he got loose over the second set and couldn’t make the third, then slid out on a 720 over the last set. As his third run was about to go down, all eyes were focused on him; he was the last guy on the roll in, under the spotlight, and the crowd was on its feet--total pressure cooker time. Would he go for the rumored 1080? He needed an 87.22 for X Games Gold, so it didn’t seem likely. On the first straight he spun a 720 over the second set, then on the second straight barspun the first set to a nothing no footed can can-to-barspin over the last set. As soon as he landed, the place errupted. It didn’t even matter what his score was; everyone knew he had done it again.

As soon as Ryan’s last score was announced, he was promptly mobbed and drenched with Mountain Dew, and pretty much any other liquid anyone had. You should have seen the look on his face; it was definitely an amazing moment. He had survived the pressure, put together an awesome final run, and came out on top; from eighth to first, for his third X Games Gold; simply amazing. Congrats, Ryan, you ruled.

BIKE STUNT DIRT
Final Results from STAPLES Center on August 14, 2003
1. Ryan Nyquist 92.70
2. Corey Bohan 89.90
3. Chris Doyle 89.50
4. Stephen Murray 87.70
5. Mike Aitken 87.20
6. T.J. Lavin 86.40
7. Brian Foster 86.30
8. Cory Nastazio 86.00
9. Allan Cooke 85.90
10. Joe Marks 79.30

ly amazing. Congrats, Ryan, you ruled.

BIKE STUNT DIRT
Final Results from STAPLES Center on August 14, 2003
1. Ryan Nyquist 92.70
2. Corey Bohan 89.90
3. Chris Doyle 89.50
4. Stephen Murray 87.70
5. Mike Aitken 87.20
6. T.J. Lavin 86.40
7. Brian Foster 86.30
8. Cory Nastazio 86.00
9. Allan Cooke 85.90
10. Joe Marks 79.30