By Adam Simpson
THE Nitro World Games returned for its second year to the Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday. The event saw the world's top Freestyle Motocross athletes pull off some of the most mind-blowing tricks ever performed on a motorcycle in an attempt to win the prestigious Nitro Circus trophies, along with the respect of their piers and fans.
The Freestyle Motocross competition was won by New Zealand's Levi Sherwood, who put down a flawless run that ended with the Kiwi KTM rider pulling out the most dangerous trick in FMX: the Double Backlip. As if that wasn't quite enough, Sherwood even added his own variation to the trick in the form of a Nac-Nac during his first rotation to officially cement his place as a new member of the exclusive Double Backflip club. Another very noteworthy performance in the FMX contest was Chilean rider Javier Villegas, who had to qualify in the preliminary rounds just to obtain an invite to the main event. Javier ended up coming in second overall ahead of Josh Sheehan by an incredibly narrow 0.08 points! With a run that consisted of Backflips, Fronflips, some truly huge Whips and a lot of style, Villegas was highly deserving of his place on the podium.
The grand finale of the event was of course the highly anticipated FMX Best Trick contest. By using newly designed, innovative ramp set-up's the riders were able to try tricks most people would have thought to be impossible. Australia's Pat Bowden stunned the crowd with his enormous Backflip Double Grab that earned the young up-and-comer a podium position at his first ever Nitro World Games. Will Van Den Putte from Belgium took second place with a perfectly timed and well extended Front Flip Indy. But it was the young Aussie Harry Bink that surprised both the judges and the crowd by landing a jaw-dropping and super-technical Rock Solid Frontflip on his second attempt to take the top spot on the podium and ink his name into the Freestyle Motocross history books.
Following the event Nitro Circus ring leader and event co-organiser Travis Pastrana said “These incredibly skilled athletes put everything on the line today. They absolutely sent it, no-holds-barred, elevating the sport and setting a totally new standard.”