Day 3 of the X Games brought us some insane energy compared with the theatrics of the previous night. With three huge events in Moto X on the schedule — Step Up, Best Whip, and Best Trick — it was destined to be a wildly entertaining day.
The hero on the night had to be Jarryd McNeil. Slated to ride Step Up and Best Whip, he flourished and won both events with authority. The joy on his face after each event was contagious and brought the 44,000 people to their feet.
In Step Up, which is basically high jump on a dirtbike, it came down to Jarryd, Libor Podmol, and fan favorite Colby Raha. For the first time ever in this discipline, Jarryd knocked down the height bar and was only one run away from elimination. Sadly, his riding partner Bryce Hudson was taken out early, having popped his shoulder out twice. He also popped the question to his lady, so technically three pops? Anyway, Jarryd soared over the bar at 43 feet and took home his third gold in this event. Check out the winning jump here:
The next event was Best Whip, which has been a crowd favorite since the day it began. The scoring in past years has been a bit contentious, so it was rad for X Games to let the judges decide the winner. Highlights include Nitro star Nate Adams riding an electric motorcycle In competition for the first time. Genki Watanabe jetted all the way from Japan to throw the motorcycle sideways. He got second just a third of a point behind Jarryd, who scored a 91.66. Axell Hodges threw everything but the kitchen sink at the judges for his third place 90.33. But in the end, Jarryd held them off and took home his second gold of these X Games. The “Little Fella” was dancing all the way back to the McNeil Farm. Check out the whip competition right here:
That left Moto X Best Trick, with a very similar lineup to the previous day’s MX Freestyle event, and some potential grudge matches to be settled. Jackson Strong wasted no time in setting an eventual high score of 93.00 with a World’s First frontflip no-hander on an unassisted freestyle kicker. Up until the point he did the trick he was the only human to have pulled it in competition. Then, Rob Adelberg became the second to throw a straight frontflip and was rewarded with a 91.00. Tom Pages, fresh off his gold from MX Freestyle, was the only person close enough to make Jackson feel some pressure when he unleashed a no-handed double backflip — which was good enough for second, giving Jacko the win. Honorable mention to Harry Bink for landing the first one-handed double backflip of his career. It was fantastic to watch him progress on such a major stage. He made the crowd roar more than once! Check out the three podium runs here:
Best Trick concluded the moto events for the contest. The track crew needs a gigantic shout out. Each night they made drastic changes to the course, and the riders were happy about all the work. Can’t wait for what X Games Sydney has up their sleeves, but if the U.S. contest is any indication, FMX will progress leaps and bounds under this format.