Updated: April 1, 2011, 3:13 PM ET

Pastrana named Rider of the Decade

By Colin Bane
ESPN Action Sports
Archive

Getty ImagesTravis Pastrana won two top honors for the 2010 FMX Awards; Rider of the Decade and Best American FMX Rider.

The votes are in for the 2010 FMX Awards, where (surprise, surprise) Travis Pastrana was named FMX Rider of the Decade and Best American FMX Rider. Pastrana picked up 2010 X Games gold in both Moto X Freestyle and Moto X Speed & Style, capping off a decade of dominance with highlights like ten X Games gold medals and the first-ever double backflip at the X Games in 2006, the first year the FMX Awards were presented. TravisPastrana.com was voted as the year's Best FMX Rider's Website.

The FMX Awards are presented by the Berlinièros Sports Agency, the promoters behind the International Freestyle Motocross Federation and the Night of the Jumps competition series, which now includes both the FIM Freestyle MX World Championships and the UEM Freestyle MX World Championships. A panel of judges makes the initial selections, and the finalists are voted on by the international FMX community. The awards recognize performance in the previous year.

"I really think this was Travis Pastrana's decade, 2000-2010, and it was great to see him back winning at X Games in 2010," says Oliver Franke, spokesman for the Berlin, Germany-based Berlinièros Sports Agency. "He's done a lot for the sport, from the double backflip to getting his Nitro Circus on worldwide TV, which was a real breakthrough for the sport on the world stage. He made the biggest impact to the sport out of anybody in FMX."

Norwegian rider Andre Villa was voted Best International FMX Rider and Best European FMX Rider. Villa won the Mexico City stop of the 2010 Red Bull X-Fighters series (voted Best FMX Event/Series) and has become a force to reckon with in any international competition.

Chris TedescoNorway's Andre Villa took the Best European FMX Rider award for his solid 2010 season.

"He's one of the top riders from the last five or six years and after recovering from a long-term injury he had a huge comeback last year," Franke says. "He nearly won the Red Bull X-Fighters series, ending up second, and I think everyone sees him as one of the best in the sport right now. I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do this year."

Australian rider Jackson Strong was voted Best International FMX Rookie, and Maikel Melero was voted European Rookie of the Year.

Although the FMX Awards are a small online voter-based operation, they've been raising their profile each year and Franke says he hopes it's helping grow the sport around the world and give recognition to international riders.

"We started five years ago and there was nothing similar at that time," Franke says. "The basic idea was to create something to honor FMX riders worldwide. We started with a focus on Europe and have expanded to include the U.S., Australia, Asia, Africa, and, new this year, Brazil. It's been exciting to see how quickly this sport catches on all over the place, and to see top new riders coming from around the world."

Full list of 2010 FMX Awards winners via FMXawards.com below.

Best International FMX Rider: Andre Villa (NOR)
Best European FMX Rider: Andre Villa (NOR)
Best American FMX Rider: Travis Pastrana (USA)
Best Australian FMX Rider: Robbie Maddison (AUS)
Best African FMX Rider: Nick de Wit (RSA)
Best Asian FMX Rider: Taka Higashino (JAP)
Best German FMX Rider: Hannes Ackermann (GER)
Best Brazilian FMX Rider: Gilmar Flores (BRA)
Best International FMX Rookie: Jackson Strong (AUS)
Best European FMX Rookie: Maikel Melero (ESP)
Best German FMX Rookie: Luc Ackermann (GER)
Best FMX Series/Event: Red Bull X-Fighters
Best FMX Bike: Yamaha YZ250
Best Trick Innovation: Deadbody backflip/Rich Kearns (USA)
Best FMX Riders Website: TravisPastrana.com
FMX Rider of the decade: Travis Pastrana (USA)

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