Masterminds behind the construction of the inaugural Enduro X track at X Games 17 sure came up with a doozie. Conditions were so difficult even two-time EnduroCross champ Taddy Blazusiak needed to qualify for the main through the 12-rider LCQ. In the end Blazusiak’s experience pulled through, giving him his first gold medal as X Games 17 officially came to a close. The Polish rider also launched his EnduroCross season on the right foot as the Enduro X event also doubled as the first round of the 2011 EnduroCross Championship.
Taddy Blazusiak made the finals of the Enduro X via the LCQ and then went on to win a his first X Games gold medal.
When the gates dropped it was Oregon's Kevin Rookstool with the holeshot ahead of Mike Brown. As positions swapped over the first couple of obstacles Geoff Aaron emerged for the lead as Blazusiak was overcoming a mediocre start. For the first five laps Aaron held things down up front, but as is the case with EnduroCross, nothing can be taken for granted. Aaron became stuck on a log, and Blazusiak capitalized on his mistake to blow by Brown and Aaron for the lead.
Before passing Aaron, Brown and Blazusiak had a tussle for runner-up. Both teammates refused to give in, but it was Blazusiak’s clean riding over impossible obstacles that rewarded him with the pass and eventual win.
"This track was a little bit more like the European tracks like we have back home, a little bit more spread out," explained the Blazusiak. "You could hit the stuff faster, and that actually suits my riding style better. You just try to push yourself to the limit and that's what I tried to do and you had to make a decision in the split of a second. I'm really happy, I had a steady start, I wasn't going over my head and I just worked my way through."
Mike Brown collected silver in the event, just missing his first ever win in the discipline. Meanwhile EnduroCross regular Justin Soule collected bronze after a final-lap crash by Joakim Ljunggren put him on the podium.
"It's my first time at X Games and it was great," said Brown. "It's fun to watch and there's always something going on in this sport. I hope we get to come back again next year and put on a good show for everyone."
"This was a truly ground-breaking event for everyone," said National Marketing Manager for Zip-Ty Husqvarna, Corey Eastman. "There was such a huge buzz at the X Games all weekend about EnduroCross, and people were really blown away by it. I'm so proud of all our riders for capitalizing on this amazing opportunity."
X Games 17 Enduro X Men’s Results:
1. Taddy Blazusiak (Gold)
2. Mike Brown (Silver)
3. Justin Soule (Bronze)
4. Joakim Ljunggren
5. Geoff Aaron
6. Destry Abbott
7. Kurt Caselli
8. Cody Webb
9. Taylor Robert
10. Kevin Rookstool
Mike Brown took home the silver medal in Enduro X at X 17.
Justin Soule battled to a third place finish and bronze medal.
Destry Abbott won his LCQ and raced to a 6th place finish.
Big crashes were everywhere at the X Games 17 Enduro X.
Ryan Hughes crashed more than anyone else but the trainer to the stars never gave up. An endo like this would keep a normal human down but Hughes would not falter.
The racing was tight and intense, particularly in the difficult rock sections of Enduro X. We think EX will become a staple event at X-Games in the coming years.