For the first time in X Games history and in women’s racing, we saw the girls compete on a Supercross track. For those who follow the WMA series (Women’s Motocross Association), you are aware that the women compete on a typical outdoor track, however, this was the first anybody witnessed the girls transition from the great outdoors onto a legitimate Supercross track. Unfortunately, all around fan favorite Ashley Fiolek suffered a big crash on Thursday that put her left arm in a sling. Thankfully, Ash suffered no broken bones, however, she did receive a lot of bumps and bruises. Although she was unable to contest in the first-ever Moto X Women’s racing event at X Games 14, AF67 was wearing her classic Ashley Fiolek smile that we’ve all grown accustom to.
With the absence of Fiolek, it seemed as though the battle for a gold medal would be a showdown between Jessica Patterson and Tarah Gieger. However, Gieger would walk into Saturday’s even with confidence after setting the fastest times of the day during Friday afternoon’s practice session.
Once the racing kicked off, it was Honda pilot Jessica Patterson who captured the holeshot. Behind Patterson was Sherri Cruse while Gieger was buried in the back of pack after a so-so start. Gieger, however, was able to make quick work of most of the field within a few straight-aways and move herself into the third spot. While Patterson, Cruse, and Gieger battled up front, Vanessa Florentino was having a solid rider inside the top five. Unfortunately, Florentino experienced a big crash over the 75-foot ramp jump and laid on the track for several laps while the medical staff at X Games gave her proper attention. Vanessa would eventually walk off on her own power. Meanwhile, back up front, Gieger was able to work her way around Cruse for second and began putting pressure on Patterson for the lead. Eventually, Patterson cracked under the pressure and took a soil sample in a technical rhythm section, which allowed Gieger, Cruse, and Tatum Sik to sneak by and gain a position. At the conclusion of the event, Gieger walked away with the gold medal followed by Cruse and Sik. Jessica would finish a disappointing fourth place. After all was said and done we caught up with Gieger to chat about her gold medal and X Games experience. “I’m glad this race is over with,” said Tarah when we asked if she was happy to put this race behind her. “The whoops aren’t all that bad, and I was doing several triples that Patterson wasn’t doing. I felt good… Just glad to get this one out of the way.”
1. Tarah Gieger (YAM)
2. Sherri Cruse (SUZ)
3. Tatum Sik (KAW)
4. Jessica Patterson (HON)
5. Sarah Whitmore (SUZ)