Drama was the main theme on the first night of X Games 17 as BMX Freestyle Big Air took over Lot 7, across the street from Staples Center, where the Big Ramp stood saliently amid the Downtown Los Angeles skyline.
Australian Vince Byron dropped a huge score of 90.66 on his second run, which he wasn’t able to back up as his bike crossbar broke during the landing off the halfpipe. He decided to pass on this third and fourth runs, hoping the high score would be enough to either give him gold or at the very least a podium finish.
Byron was offered extra crossbars from his fellow competitors, but he refused to take it, believing that a Frankenstein-style setup would give him more trouble than help down the Big Ramp.
Defending champion, Chad Kagy, missed landing a double backflip and broke his femur as a result. The crash landing made the X Games 17 collectively hold their breaths as Kagy laid on the ramp, writhing in pain -- he even called the medics over as soon as he landed.
Steve McCann’s last ride was his best, scoring an impressive 91.66 with a no-handed double front flip and double tower off the quarter pipe. The run gave McCann gold, pushing Byron to silver and Kagy into bronze.
GOLD: Steve McCann
SILVER: Vince Byron
BRONZE: Chad Kagy
4th Place: Anthony Napolitan