X Games 2012: Best Whip/Step Up/Best Trick

By Michael Antonovich
Photos by Michael Antonovich and Jordan Powell

History was made on night two of the 2012 X Games, as Jeremy Stenberg, Ronnie Renner, and Jackson Strong repeated their prior gold medal finishes to again claim the top spots on the podium. The night did not pass without incident, however, as injuries whittled down the field.

Best Whip

Six riders known for their skill at flinging a bike sideways took part in a quick, 10 minute “jam” session with the outcome being decided by viewers via text message.¬†Josh Hansen and Billy Laninovich represented the racing world and earned fifth and sixth for their efforts, with Laniovich’s massive look back whips surprising the masses who were unfamiliar with the privateer. Spain’s Edgar Torronteras edged Hansen by one percent of the vote for fourth place overall, but it seemed as though his corked, turndown whips were lost on viewers of the broadcast. Todd Potter, Jarryd McNeil, and Jeremy Stenberg were the heavy favorites to take the medals, and that is exactly how the event played out. Stenberg claimed his second gold medal in the event by a landslide over runner-up McNeil, and three time gold medalist Potter earned the bronze.

Results
1. Jeremy Stenberg 32%
2. Jarryd McNeil 19%
3. Todd Potter 17%
4. Edgar Torronteras 14%
5. Josh Hansen 13%
6. Billy Laninovich 6%

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Page 2: Step Up, Page 3: Best Trick

Step Up

Step Up has seen numerous head-to-head battles over the course of its inclusion in the event, but this year’s battle between Matt Buyten and Ronnie Renner was nothing shy of awe inspiring. As the bar inched higher above the massive landing area, Massimo Bianconcini, Todd Potter, Myles Richmond, and Brian Deegan¬†were eliminated, leaving only the multi-time winners in the running. Buyten and Renner peaked at nearly 50 feet above the stadium floor on more than one occasion, but with the bar being the only measured distance, the final leap was set at 47 feet. Though he was visibly sore from his prior launches, Renner was the only rider of the two to make it cleanly over the bar and earned the gold medal and world record for his efforts.

Results
1. Ronnie Renner 47′
2. Matt Buyten 46′
3. Brian Deegan 39′
4. Myles Richmond 36′
5. Todd Potter 32′
6. Massimo Bianconcini 32′

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Best Trick

Canadian Bruce Cook was the first rider to hit the Best Trick set-up, as he attempted to land a Rock Solid flip of his own, but a slow rotation on the flip kept him from making the landing cleanly. His impact with the ground would keep him from attempting the move a second time. Mark Monea hoped to land the “Carry On,” an off-axis front flip 360 he has landed in other events and, but was unable to flip quickly enough or without sliding off the back of the bike. Thomas Pages cleanly stuck his variation of the body varial in both of his runs, but moves by his competitors would not be enough to finish higher than fourth. Clinton Moore used his first run of the night to launch a varial of his own, and then went for the TP 720 Roll in his second go. He would land in a fashion similar to Travis Pastrana’s attempts at the yet-to-be landed move and finished in fifth place, thanks to his previous run. Cam Sinclair used the double backflip to take the bronze, and Taka Higashino’s landed Rock Solid Flip earned a silver medal. Kyle Loza attempted to land a bike flip for the first time in numerous tries, but tossed the bike away in the middle of the rotation. He lined up for his second jump, but pulled out at the top of the roll-in with a lower leg issue. Defending gold medalist Jackson Strong debuted another body varial variation, a backwards somersault to double-grab dubbed “The Jack” and secured another gold medal for his collection.

Results
1. Jackson Strong 91.00
2. Taka Higashino 90.00
3. Cameron Sinclair 89.33
4. Thomas Pages 88.66
5. Clinton Moore 86.66
6. Kyle Loza 62.00
7. Bruce Cook 61.33
8. Mark Monea 61.00

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