The X-Games icon Travis Pastrana was set to compete in a record five events but will be sitting out of the Best Trick event.
The gauntlet has been thrown and it is on! X Games 16 goes live today with the top extreme athletes in the world ready to brawl in Los Angeles. Don’t miss any of the action beginning this afternoon at the historic LA Coliseum. Competition continues through August 1 at the various venues. Tickets are only $16 for events staged at the Coliseum and available at www.ticketmaster.com/xgames.
X Games icon Travis Pastrana was set to compete in five different disciplines, the most of any athlete in the games. Despite being a late scratch from Best Trick on Wednesday afternoon when he had trouble landing the infamous Rodeo 720 jump, the leader of the Nitro Circus plans to stay on the gas in Moto X Freestyle and Moto X Speed & Style on two wheels, as well as Rally Car and SuperRally on four wheels. A battle royale is set for Rally as Pastrana’s fellow DC-sponsored athletes Dave Mirra (the BMX legend has the most medals in X Games history) and Ken Block head the field. The co-founder of DC shoes, Block turned his drive to rally racing a few years ago and will be making the debut of his new Monster World Rally Team Ford at the Coliseum.
All totaled, DC will be sponsoring 20+ Rally, Skate, BMX and Moto X athletes at X Games 16. “Summer X games in one of the biggest action sports events of the year,” says DC president Anton Nistl. “Our athletes train all year for this event and we’re really looking forward to supporting them as they compete.” Other DC moto athletes include Robbie Maddison, Nate Adams, Adam Jones and Jolene Van Vugt. Click on www.dcshoes.com for team updates.
Speaking of sponsors, Step-Up hero Matt Buyten signed a deal with Dubach Racing Development at the 11th hour. “We are excited to have Buyten on the DR.D Team,” says rider support manager Mark Tilley. “He is continually pushing equipment limits and for our product development, that’s a key component.” The high-flying Buyten has medaled in every X Games Step-Up competition since its inception at the 2003 games. Matt Buyten looks to add to his X Games medal count.
The Moto X Super X competition gets a rules change in the Adaptive Athletes class for X Games 16, something South African racer Sampie Erasmus feels will play in his favor. “This year there will be two sets of medals for the Adaptive Moto X between the limb-loss and the paralyzed class,” explains Erasmus, who is T4 paraplegic. “It should add more excitement with a race inside a race.” Sampie raced the 2009 X Games, where he was named Most Valuable Rider but this year he is looking to win a medal. “I was the second
James Stewart won’t be making a return visit to the X-Games this year as the 2009 Supercross champ confirmed he won’t be fit enough for the event.
paraplegic over the line, and sixth place overall at last year’s X Games. The hardest part will be the start… I will be on the line with the 450s and I only have a 250, plus I have to have someone hold me up on the line and we have to be perfectly balanced to get a good start.” Watch ESPN Friday from 2-5 p.m. for the Adaptive X finals.
ESPN also confirmed that James Stewart is out of the mix for X Games 16 this week (Link). “I’ve been riding for two weeks now, and obviously I was planning on going, but this decision kind of happened a little while ago,” Stewart told ESPN’s B.J. Smith. “It didn’t happen this week… but I think everyone was just kind of holding on [to the idea] that maybe I would get back, start riding and feel like Superman in one week.” Bottom line is that Stewart will be sidelined for X-16.