Vicki Golden posted her first gold medal in the Moto X Women’s race at X Games 17 ahead of Tarah Geiger.
The 2012 X Games Women’s Moto X battle will go down on Saturday evening, June 30, 2012 and the defending champ, Vicki Golden, hasn’t received much respect. In 2011, Golden arrived at the X Games as an underdog, along with a dozen women riders who were likely going to fight for the bronze medal at best. After all, everyone expected Factory Red Bull supported multi-time Women’s MX champ Ashley Fiolek or WMX legend Jessica Patterson to dominate the field from start to finish. Both of them fell victim to crash-related injuries and didn’t even make it out of the Heat races. Golden went on to dominate in the finals over Tarah Geiger, Livia Lancelot and Sara Price on the way to her first ever X Games gold.
So, why would we expect Golden to have a chance this year? Because, she has valuable experience on these small courses and she is a competitor who simply loves to ride. She embodies the essence of a true privateer by driving from race to race, squeezing every last drop out of her bank account and making due with just the necessities to get her to the events.
She sharpens her indoor skills by competing in Arenacross where she battles the boys night after night and is the first female to make a main event. This will pay dividends at X Games where she was one of the few riders to even survive the course. She’s also no prima donna, despite what you might expect from an X Games gold medal winner. This past year has been difficult after winning the gold thanks to an untimely shoulder injury that has hampered her 2011-2012 campaign but she’s primed to prove her pundits wrong, again.
Racing is the heart of Vicki Golden’s identity and she’s still out to prove that her name belongs on the marquee right along with those other gals. Here she is on the way to winning the 2011 Women’s Moto X gold medal.
“After breaking my collarbone preparing for Arenacross it really put the fear in me,” explains Golden. “It took me awhile to get back physically and mentally. I struggled most of Arenacross but it restored what I lost and now I’m excited and confident to go defend my gold medal.”
Coming into X Games 2011 she was just another name on the roster to most viewers but when the dust settled she was the rider with the gold medal hanging around her neck. Now, when the gate drops on Saturday night for 2012 Women’s Moto X, she will have the target on her back, even though the big names will likely receive the most attention. Is it her image on the X Games website? Nope. Has she been given proper credit for winning in 2011? Probably not. Do you think that bugs her? Maybe. She’s been flying under the radar for a long time so she’s not going to complain about it now. Golden intends to let her riding speak for her. If she wins, she won’t be surprised, even if everyone else is.
“I feel confident coming in this year just as I did last year,” confirms the 20-year old. “I’ve just been putting my head down and putting my work in to prove they used the wrong girl (On the promos – ed.).”
Tune in Saturday night starting at 5:00PM (PST) for Women’s Moto X Racing Round 1. At 6:30PM (PST) the Women’s Moto X Final on ESPN. Check the ESPN X Games TV Listings.