- Micah Abrams, Writer, Action Sports
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Jamie Bestwick has won his seventh gold in BMX Vert, earning the event's first-ever four-peat in the process. As has been the case so often for much of the last decade, Bestwick was nearly untouchable Friday night, throwing a variety of 540 variations, including alley oop 5s in the 11-foot range, double downside tailwhips and downside tailwhip flairs that soared well above most of his other competitors.
Bestwick reflected on his record-setting win after the Final. "Man, what a day. The four-peat is just crazy. I'm happy to have won and made some BMX history."
The contest, which took place on the stage at the Nokia Theater in downtown Los Angeles, was largely a battle for second and third, which ultimately ended in an 80-point tie between Steve McCann and Simon Tabron. The tie was broken by a points deduction, in which the highest score for each was dropped and their totals averaged for a second time.
While some riders, including Coco Zurita, were able to nearly reach heights similar to Bestwick, none could match the technical difficulty of his tricks. And while both Tabron and fourth-place finisher Chad Kagy had technically difficult runs, neither consistently boosted as high as the champ. In addition, Bestwick's freakish ability to avoid crashes was something unique in today's Vert field.
The win gives Bestwick his eighth X Games medal overall.
10hMichael C. Wright