|X Games pedigree on show at Monster BMX |
By STEPHON NICHOLAS Tuesday, April 29 2014
Two-time X Games champion, Vikki Gomez of Spain, thrilled BMX fans at the Jean Pierre Complex on Sunday with his jaw dropping array of tricks to pedal away with the lucrative US$10,000 first prize at the Monster Energy BMX Freestyle Exams.
Gomez, in his first visit to Trinidad, defeated fellow finalists Adam Kun of Hungary, the reigning BMX Worlds champ; and Japan’s Moto Sasaki, in a 12-minute BMX finale that brought out the best of each rider. Kun finished second, taking home US$7,000 while Sasaki was third (US$5,000).
Speaking to Newsday after his victory, Gomez was in a state of euphoria and described his performance this weekend as being one with his bike.
“I feel amazing man. I’ve been training lots lately and this is like payback. I can’t believe how cool I felt with my bike. I felt like me and my biker were one together. I’m happy with my riding and I’m happy to visit such a beautiful country — such a beautiful culture and people. It couldn’t be better,” he said.
Gomez, who was the number one qualifier from Saturday’s preliminaries, said it was motivation for him to compete against the best riders in the world right here in Trinidad.
“The top riders are here and it’s all motivation. The better riders there are, the more I push my limits so it’s a good challenge and I couldn’t be happier,” he continued.
Meanwhile, The BMX Park competition was won by Venezuelan Daniel Dhers in an event that featured high flying action that wowed the crowd. Despite a few spills by some of the riders, there were no serious injuries as fans got to see the first 1080 degree aerial spin ever done in Trinidad as well as other tricks such as the “helicopter” and “Superman” to name a few.
Dhers, a five-time and reigning X Games gold medallist, took home the US$10,000 first prize ahead of Americans Daniel Sandoval and Pat Casey who receives US$7,000 and US$5,000 respectively.
Meanwhile, organiser Trevlon Hall, TT’s first pro freestyle rider, was a proud man yesterday to see his dream become a reality.
“This is amazing. We have like 22 countries riding now. I’ve been working on this for the past 17 years and it’s certainly a dream come true.
I know a lot of young people here are inspired and will continue to be inspired as long as we have this type of competition here,” he said. Hall acknowledged that Saturday’s preliminaries had a few glitches that caused a late start and delays but promised smooth operations next year. He also expressed pride to witness TT’s Keegan Alves compete among the pros on Saturday.
Even though he did not qualify for the final, Alves received tremendous applause by the local spectators who clapped each trick attempted.