X Games Austin 2015 Top Moments
Thank you, good night!
Another four days of spectacular action wrapped up Sunday at X Games Austin 2015. Close to 137,000 spectators packed into the venues at the COTA racetrack to watch the action of Moto X, Enduro X, Flat-Track, Rally Car and Off-Road Truck Racing, Skateboard and BMX Big Air and Skateboard and BMX Park and Street competitions. And when headlining superstars took the stage to close out the biggest day of action on Saturday, they brought the house down. Check out the best moments and photography from the weekend in this rolling best-of gallery.
Huston reigns supreme
Skateboard Street win was child's play for Nyjah Huston on Sunday at X Games Austin 2015. "Every win takes a lot of hard work and practice on the course and a lot of preparation," Huston said. "I'm stoked that I was able to put down those first two runs and not put too much pressure on myself."
Nyjah Huston lost one contest this year -- to Luan Oliveira at Tampa Pro. Since then, he's swept the Street League podium, and came into X Games the Skateboard Street favorite. Not only did Huston win the contest, he won by an 11-point difference between first and second. Clearly, Huston's reign is far from over.
The Off-Road Truck Racing LCQ was arguably the most exciting race of the entire event. NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace, who made his X Games debut this week at age 58, rolled his truck and kept on driving, but failed to make the finals. Scotty Steele hit the chicane and rolled onto his side, causing a red flag that eventually ended the race, and Moto X legend Travis Pastrana impressed with some seriously aggressive driving to take the second-place finish and advance to the finals. It was a nail-biting race, all the way around.
Take to the streets
Skateboard Street featured one of the most stacked fields of competitors, including Canadian Ryan Decenzo, shown here in Sunday's Street finals. Decenzo, a perennial podium contender in Street contests, has four X Games medals from Game of Sk8, Real Street and Street.
When athletes from other disciplines graduate to legend status, they typically move from their respective discipline to Rally Car Racing. Off-Road Truck Racing is quickly becoming the Rally Car Racing 2.0 of X Games, with athletes from NASCAR, Moto X and more. Seventeen-year-old Sheldon Creed is an exception to the rule, and he walked away with his first X Games gold medal in Off-Road Truck racing on Sunday at X Games Austin 2015.
Australian Josh Sheehan, 29, took bronze in the debut of Moto X QuarterPipe on Sunday. In April, Sheehan landed the first triple backflip in motocross history at Travis Pastrana's house in Maryland, but you weren't going to see the triple backflip here in Austin. "Quarterpipe is fairly new in freestyle motocross, but we've got some massive tricks," says Sheehan.
Whip it good
Beau Bamburg, who earned the nickname "The Basher," competes in the fan-voted Moto X Best Whip on Sunday, as his fellow competitors look on. Bamburg, who also competed in Speed & Style in Austin, finished sixth in Best Whip, while Jarryd McNeil won his first gold in the discipline.
In 2013, BMX Big Air competitor Zack Warden practically swept the Global X Games series, winning three of four competitions. In 2014, Warden was forced to skip X Games due to injury. This week, he returned to BMX Big Air and Skate/BMX Big Air Doubles, albeit with a cold, and managed to finish alongside Tom Schaar with a bronze medal in Doubles.
A grand finale
It was a fitting end to X Games Austin 2015, with Thomas Pags, the man who helped bring Moto X QuarterPipe to the X Games for the first time, winning gold in the inaugural event. Pags sealed the win by landing a bike flip, a trick he became the first to do in competition in 2014. Pags recently built a new carbon fiber bike -- which is 33 pounds lighter than the standard competition bike -- which helped him execute the trick.
She's not Meek
Friday's headlining musician Nicki Minaj put a cherry on top of the first full day of action at X Games Austin 2015. Clad in a racetrack-inspired white-and-black checkered leather bodysuit, Minaj rocked the house and even brought her boyfriend Meek Mill up onstage for a surprise performance.
Saturday at X
Tyler, Texas, native and veteran BMX Big Air competitor Morgan Wade arrived at X Games Austin as a gold-medal contender, and he remained in that position for much of the competition. Wade's huge superman backflips and double tailwhips at height wowed the crowd, but not more than his antics on top of the MegaRamp following his runs. Wade danced, frolicked and even waved the flag like a hybrid version of a pro wrestler/cowboy.
Familiar faces returned to the podium as Moto X Speed & Style returned to X Games Austin. On Saturday night, veteran Moto X competitor Nate Adams found himself riding alone after Blake "Bilko" Williams went down early in the final race of the night. Adams made the most of it, throwing a few one-handers to wave to the crowd, and finished with another gold medal to his name. "It was basically the same story each race -- try to get a first-place start, squeeze the other guy out, do my tricks, and keep moving forward," said Adams, who now has four Speed & Style golds.
Winds plagued BMX Big Air last year at X Games Austin. This year, the conditions were perfect and the event was widely attended by Big Air fans. After taking his first gold medal in BMX Vert on Friday, Australia's Vince Byron returned Saturday to compete in BMX Big Air and threw down enormous flairs on the MegaRamp, but ultimately settled for fifth place at the end of the night.
The favorite heading into the Moto X Speed & Style event, Mike Mason eventually took the bronze competing against Adam Jones. Mason, who struggled through the qualifiers, was happy with his result. "I did my best on the track, on the ramps, and I'm really stoked on a bronze medal," he said. His retro-flavored Fox Racing uniform was also a welcome treat.
Need for Speed
The Rally Car Racing final was harrowing, full of crashes and high-speed combat, and the emergence of Scott Speed as a veteran X Games competitor. With his win at X Games Austin 2015, Speed now has three X Games gold medals to his name, the most of any Rally Car Racing athlete.
12 years and counting
Ryan Sheckler, 25, has been a top Skateboard Street competitor since the age of 13. Sheckler will compete in Skateboard Street on Sunday in Austin, where he is always a contender.
Back on top
Coming into X Games Austin 2015, all eyes were on 2014 gold medalist Pedro Barros to repeat in Skateboard Park. Barros maintained his lead through the majority of the competition, until Curren Caples dropped in for his last run and scored the highest run of the day. Style, huge transfers and smooth landings all added to his second X Games gold medal win.
Does Alexis Sablone's MIT graduate degree in architecture give her an advantage in choosing lines in the Skateboard Street course? Or is she just a really, really good skateboarder? Either way, she ended up with the gold medal and two highest scoring runs in Women's Skateboard Street.
Keeping it fun
After qualifying into the finals in Skateboard Park, Ben Raybourn kept his run simple and channeled classic skating from the 1980s. Watching from the stands, fellow skateboard pros dubbed Raybourn, "The people's champion."
Redline Bicycles pro Brandon Dosch had a rough go in BMX Dirt and failed to break the top five in the finals. Dosch, an Austin, Texas, native who digs trails in the area, gave his bike to a spectator at the end of the competition. Then he drove back to Austin to build a new bike.
Women's Skateboard Street was contested on Saturday, and Leticia Bufoni was on hand to boost transfers. Though the former gold medalist was was held to fourth in the finals, Bufoni represented her home country of Brazil with style, smooth grinds and a dedicated fanbase.
Sun's out, guns out
Friday at X
Burnquist wins again
In what appears to be something of a tradition at X Games, Bob Burnquist sustained an injury prior to competing in Skateboard Big Air on Friday. This time it was his left forearm, hurt in Vert practice earlier in the week. X-rays revealed a non-displaced stable fracture, and with a protective split, he still managed to land a switch 540 lien, grabbed with his injured appendage, followed by an Indy 720 to fakie on the quarterpipe, all of which won him his eighth Big Air gold.
Layos represents for style
Haaker pushes on
Texas blow torch
Thursday at X: And so it begins
Moto X Step Up rang the bell to start off this year's competition at X Games Austin. Ronnie Renner won his seventh gold medal, the most in the discipline and the first time an athlete has won Step Up gold three times in a row since Tommy Clowers from 2000 to 2002. Renner, who at 37 was the oldest competitor in the field, now has 12 X Games medals to his name.
Twenty-four riders, two of them women, were invited to compete in the X Games debut of Harley-Davidson Flat-Track Racing, which took place Thursday on an oval track made of clay. In a story of heartbreak and triumph, defending GNC1 champion Jared Mees had a solid lead heading into the final lap when his bike broke, allowing Bryan Smith to pass for the win.
Haro BMX pro and Australian Jason Watts showed up for BMX Park practice and proceeded to flow around the course with technical lines, big airs and more. Clearly, Watts has no problem with control, as evidenced by this stretched out one-footed nose wheelie. Watts competes in BMX Park on Saturday.
Might as well jump ...
It has been a hectic year for Skateboard Street competitor Matt Berger, pictured here jumping over Curren Caples. After traveling to Ethiopia with Nyjah Huston and Tony Hawk for the Let It Flow Foundation, Berger returned to the U.S., where he released a full video part while simultaneously turning pro for Flip Skateboards. The year is far from over. Look for Berger to compete in Skateboard Street on Sunday in Austin.
The return of BMX Dirt
After being reintroduced to X Games in 2013, BMX Dirt returned in a big way for X Games Austin 2015, with a course that screamed, "Hold on, here we go." Practice led to instant insanity, including huge, dipped 360s from the likes of Pat Casey.
Sweatin' to the oldies
Steve Caballero might not be on the invite list to compete at X Games Austin, but you can't deny a legend from squeezing in some time on the vert ramp during practice. Here, Caballero gets it done with classic Cab-style on Day 1 at X Games before taking to the judging tower for the remainder of the weekend.
Saturday, it's a Saturday
The women of Skateboard Street take the stage at 2:30 p.m. ET Saturday. While the ABC broadcast of X Games Austin will feature highlights from the event, those who don't want to miss a minute of the action can check the live stream on WatchESPN.