With disabilities ranging from the loss of limbs to full paraplegic athletes, the Adaptive final provided for six laps of excitement. As the crowd packed in, the seats quickly began to fill as riders came in and out of the stadium through the Coliseum’s world famous arches. Running on a modified version of the Super X Men’s course (everything minus the whoop section) the adaptive racers wooed the crowd with their jumps and passes.
First out of the gate and over the finish-line-triple, Dave Turner and his number 147 Kawasaki flew to the front of the pack with the 5 bike of Mike Shultz and 206 of Todd Thompson in hot pursuit. Two laps in Shultz made the pass and physically took over the race. Pushing his way past multiple lappers, Shultz made the course look easy. Following closely behind however, Todd Thompson mimicked his every move in hopes of a late race mistake.
Running in third after four laps the Number 10 of Ranel Cox ran into some trouble when lapped traffic, and specifically Ricky James blocked the path into a 180-degree berm. With nowhere to go Cox went over the berm and more importantly into a fence designed to keep people out of the track. The tough break for Cox opened the door for Beau Meier to slide into third and the final spot on the podium.
Missing from action at X Games 16 was last year’s gold medal winner and expected favorite, Chris Ridgeway. Suffering a crash while coming up short in Wednesdays practice, Ridgeway injured his knee when it came in contact with the clutch perch. Despite an evening’s worth of fluid being drained from the knee, Ridgeway was unable ride in Thursday afternoon’s main.
Up front of the pack Schultz looked good coming into Lap 5. After taking the white flag, the support on his leg broke loose and it looked as though he might be forced to back down. With gold in his sights he poured on the gas and beat out Todd Thompson with only two seconds to spare.
“This feels awesome! I have dreamed about this gold for a long time, and I can’t wait to take it home and show it off!” Thompson declared after the event, and with that the first X Games 16 Gold Medal was awarded under the torch of the L.A. Coliseum.
Mike Shultz ran into trouble at the end, but managed to hang on to win the first X Games gold in the L.A. Coliseum.
X Games 16 Moto X Adaptive Results:
1. Mike Schultz
2. Todd Thompson
3. Beau Meier
4. Jason Woods
5. Jim Wasny
6. Samuel Erasmus
7. Jesse Gildea
8. Shane Shipley
9. Rickey James
10. Nick Pappas
11. Dave Turner
12. Ranel Cox