Defending X Games Gold medal winner Ronnie Renner takes second place in the X Games 16 Step Up competition.
The world's best step up artists did battle inside Staples Center this evening during the final of the X Games Moto X Step Up competition, and Red Bull's own Ronnie Renner finished runner-up after a hard-fought battle for the gold!
Unlike any other Moto X discipline at X Games, Step Up challenges riders to rocket off of a launch pad from a dead stop, and immediately propel themselves up a near vertical, cliff-style dirt ramp before being shot straight up—and hopefully over—a pole vault bar of increasing heights. Starting at a height of 26 feet, the field of six finalists was eventually narrowed to just two riders after a height of 32 feet 6 inches claimed the other four.
Up for the challenge, defending gold medal winner Renner easily cleared the 32'6" mark along with veteran step up challenger Matt Buyten, and the two moved on to 33'6". First to attempt the new altitude, Buyten would come up short in both attempts, leaving the door wide open for Renner to capture gold.
Just as Buyten before him, however, Renner had issues with 33'6", as well, and he clipped the bar with his front wheel on both attempts. With the slate wiped clean, the two step up masters went into a second head-to-head elimination round to once again try their luck at 33'6". This time around, Buyten would not be denied, as he narrowly cleared the bar and successfully landed on the downside of the landing ramp. With one last shot to match Buyten at the 33'6" mark, Renner unfortunately came up just a hair short of back-to-back golds, as he knocked the cross bar to the ground for the final time.
Always a gracious competitor, Renner congratulated Buyten for his win, and the two celebrated a great event with the enthusiastic Staples Center crowd.
For more X Games 16 coverage, check out the X Games Central only on RedBullUSA.com.