Reaching deep into his bag of tricks, Thomas Pages scored the first victory of his Red Bull X-Fighters career in front of 30,000 spectators in Munich on Saturday. The flying Frenchman nailed three of the most difficult tricks known to mankind and pulled off a sensational victory over Torres on the biggest European course ever built without doing a single back flip – a trick he has steadfastly avoided since 2009. Pages is now even with Levi Sherwood of New Zealand at the top of the standings going to the season finale in Sydney.
Japan’s Eigo Sato took third in Munich with a stellar performance on a night of celebration of Bavarian traditions with an oom-pah-pah band, lederhosen trousers and women clad in snug-fitting dirndl dresses that warmed up the spacious arena on a cool summer evening.
Sherwood had an 80-point lead in the championship coming to Munich but was a disappointing fifth after being ousted in the quarter-finals by the red-hot Pages, who became the crowd favorite for his electrifying jumps: the Special Flip off the seat of his bike, the Volt that left him spinning in mid-air above his bike and the Flair – turning a 540 degrees in mid-air. “I had so many hot tricks to do tonight and felt the crowd pushing me on,” said Pages, who hinted he may try a back flip again soon. “This was the scariest event I’ve ever done.”
Pages is now even on points at 235 with Sherwood, the winner of Dubai and Madrid, going to the season finale in Sydney on Oct. 6. Torres, who had back-to-back second places in Madrid and Munich, is now third with 185 points and Javier Villegas of Chile is in the hunt in fourth place.