X GAMES: Gagnon wins skateboard vert; Brazilian Barros takes park event – Daily Breeze
Pierre-Luc Gagnon found a new and old challenger to the skateboard vert competition at XGames 18 on Saturday night at the Nokia Theatre.
The past few years, the challenge has come from snowboarder Shaun White. Saturday, it came down to a battle with an old nemesis: Bucky Lasek.
The 32-year-old tied Lasek, 39, with a top score of 91.00, but Gagnon had a better second run, an 88.00 to Lasek’s 84.66, to earn his 18th career X Games medal, six of them gold in the vert.
“It was great to be out there with Bucky battling,” Gagnon said. “It was a great contest.”
There was no time remaining when both took their final runs. Gagnon went first and quickly fell. Lasek needed to get a least the 88.00 to win
“I was pretty nervous when I bailed on the last run,” Gagnon said. “I thought, `Oh my God, I blew it.’ But he ended up sketching out.”
Gagnon, who won gold from 2008 to ’10, did a body varial, a 540 into a 720 and a switch heel flip front side 360 on his 91.00 run. Lasek did a 540 into a 720 heel flip and a 540 fakie invert on his 91.00 run.
Gagnon scored his 88.00 on his run in the finals. Andy MacDonald finished third.
Lasek, MacDonald, Gagnon and Danny Mayer won the heats. The top qualifier from each 10-minute heat and the four top scores advanced to the finals.
Lasek won the first heat with a lot of 540 McTwists and Indy airs.
He had to fend off 12-year-old Tom Scharr, who did two 900 spins en route to an 83.66, which was tied for the sixth-best qualifying score.
“It was scary all those 9s he did,” Lasek said.
Earlier in the day, Pedro Barros lost his baseball cap on three of his four runs in the Skateboard Park finals on Saturday afternoon on a pool course designed atop a L.A. Live parking structure.
It was a good omen. The 17-year-old from Brazil had a big score each time the cap fell off, including a final run with the highest score to win X Games gold.
On one of the runs, he did an Indy air over the bowl and picked up the cap on the way down.
“I do not know why the crowd likes it so much,” Barros said of the trick. “I m just taking it out of the way for (next rider) Rune (Glifberg).”
Actually, his winning run, which earned him one point more than second-place finisher Ben Hatchell, had nothing to do with losing the cap.
“I saw Ben get a higher score and he was killing it,” Barros said. “I knew I had to pull a better run off. I was just trying to do everything I can. You Go for the make or go for the bail. Whatever happens, happens. I did a couple harder tricks.”
The runs came after time expired in the 18-minute jam session format.
MacDonald, the opening rider of the competition, was in the pool, doing his 45-second run when time was out and judges let the other five riders make a run.
The score of the top two scores of the five runs were added together to determine the winner.
Barros, who won gold two years ago and a silver last year in his only other X Games appearances, entered the final run tied with Hatchell with Hatchell having the higher single-run score, which would have earned last year’s bronze medalist the gold had they finished tied.
Barros, who has a pool that he rides in every day in his back yard, did a long front slide grind on the coping and then did a backside 540. He also lost his cap, but did not pick it up on the run.
“It was the speed, 540s and the 6-foot airs,” said bronze medalist Glifberg, who has competed in every X Games. “He was just making it work, fast and powerful. Maybe he was not throwing as many tricks in there as Ben, but the tricks were faster and longer. What separated Pedro was the height and the stuff in the air. I think that is what the judges were looking for.”
Write a Reply or Comment:
You must be logged in to post a comment.