The anticipation for the BMX Freestyle Vert competition was high, with a packed crowd in the bleachers on August 2 at the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles, most of whom were wondering if BMX Big Air gold medalist Chad Kagy could top his previous performance from the night before with another BMX win in the vert ramp.
However the line-up for vert included British sensation Jamie Bestwick, Steve McCann, the legendary Dennis McCoy, and Kevin Robinson, among other top BMXers which meant it was going to a hardcore field of competitors.
It was a tight competition throughout with top standings switching up throughout the 30 minute jam sessions and many riders pulling off big combinations. But it was Jamie Bestwick with his alley-oop downside, a bunch of big 540s, flairs and whips that won him the gold. However this all happened after a show-stopping fall that had paramedics on the ramp getting Jamie back to his feet.
Chad Kagy came through for the silver with super complicated flair double whips -the first he’s stuck all year he said in the press conferences, while Steve McCann landed a bar-spin tail whip and alley-oop tail whip to take home the bronze.
“You know you gotta step it up every year at the X Games or else you get left behind,” Chad said at the podium, which was his 10th X Games appearance.
For Steve from Australia who only started BMX Vert in 2007, it was a real thrill. “It’s my first Vert medal ever. What could be better than doing it at the X Games?”