Nate Adams Leads the Way with Two Gold Medals
After an intense four days of competition on both dirt and pavement, the talented group of athletes that composed the Monster Army in the Moto X and Rally disciplines walked away with an impressive total of six medals in eight events. Freestyle motocross veteran Nate Adams led the way, making a triumphant return to the top of the X Games podium with a pair of gold medals.
Additionally, future rally superstar Liam Doran, popular freestyle rider Adam Jones, enduro stalwart Justin Soule, and up-and-coming FMX competitor Jarryd McNeil all took home some hardware of their own.
Nate Adams was without a doubt the golden boy of X Games. After getting warmed up in Best Whip during opening night on Thursday, Adams put forth an impressive onslaught of tricks in the Freestyle competition on Friday evening. With his patented 360 putting him a step above the rest, Adams dominated the entire event, posting the only total score above 90 points. The gold medal marked Adams’ first since 2004, and kicked off a memorable weekend for the popular rider.
Following his prized performance in Freestyle, Adams returned to STAPLES Center on Saturday night, looking for more gold in Speed & Style. As one of the newest, and most unique events at X Games, the world was watching closely as the stars of FMX engaged in head-to-head battles that combined the finesse of motocross racing, with the death-defying feats of freestyle. With a background in motocross giving him the upper hand, Adams instantly held an advantage over the field, and carried his top seeding into yet another definitive performance for his second gold medal of the weekend.
Liam Doran’s debut at X Games was one to be proud of, and the British rallycross specialist no doubt returned to his home country with his head held high. Behind the wheel of his menacing Citroen affectionately known as “Black Mamba,” Doran turned heads in Rally Car Racing, displaying incredible car control and jaw-dropping speed en route to the gold medal in his inaugural outing at X. Overcoming the likes of 2010 gold medalist Tanner Foust and former World Rally Champion Marcus Gronholm, Doran laid claim as arguably the most prominent rising star in rally.
As one of the most recognizable names in FMX over the last decade, it was no surprise to see Adam Jones join his fellow Monster Army member Nate Adams atop the Freestyle podium on Friday night. Jones kept Adams honest in his two highest-scored runs, ultimately falling just five points short in an impressive silver-medal effort.
Coming into X Games as a relative unknown, Jarryd McNeil made a name for himself in the freestyle world with a bronze medal performance in the fan-voted Best Whip competition on Thursday night. As a former Australian Motocross Champion and budding FMX star, McNeil showed his supreme bike control by whipping so much, that he was upside down on several occasions.
The closing event of X Games 17 also signified the newest discipline in the global spectacle. Enduro X has long been a one-of-a-kind aspect of the motocross landscape, but on Sunday night, it took center stage for millions to see. Monster Energy Kawasaki factory rider Justin Soule took advantage of the opportunity, challenging at the front of the field in his quest for gold. As most of his competitors fell by the wayside, literally, Soule stayed consistent and brought home his first X Games medal with a bronze.
Moto X Best Whip
Jarryd McNeil – Bronze
Moto X Freestyle
Nate Adams – Gold
Adam Jones – Silver
Rally Car Racing
Liam Doran – Gold
Moto X Speed & Style
Nate Adams – Gold
Moto X Enduro X
Justin Soule – Bronze
In all, the Monster Army accomplished what it set out to do at X Games – take it to the competition. The impressive lineup, that featured many of the most prolific athletes in action sports, laid it all on the line throughout the four-day extravaganza and in the end, left its mark on Los Angeles.