Tom Pagès makes historic Madrid hat-trick
Never before in the history of Red Bull X-Fighters had an Freestyle Motocross rider managed to win the most coveted Madrid trophy three times in a row before Tom Pagès delivered a brilliant performance under excruciating pressure on Friday night.
In front of another sold-out crowd of 23,000 frenzied spectators, Pagès got his fifth career win in an unforgettable final over New Zealand’s Levi Sherwood.
Bundaberg’s Clinton Moore finished third but still holds the overall World Tour lead just ahead of Pagès after three of five stops in the world’s most prestigious FMX tour.
Ignoring the conventional wisdom that no one could ever win the impossibly competitive Madrid stop three times in a row, Pagès crowned a dramatic night of FMX heroics with a magical run packed with gravity-defying jumps of up to 15 meters high and 30 meters in distance. The Frenchman, who also won the 2013 World Tour, sent the appreciative Madrid crowd into ecstasy with a highlight-filled run that included four of the most difficult jumps known to man: the Volt, the Special Flip and his signature Alley-oop Flair and Bike Flip.
“It was an insane night but it feels really good,” said Pagès. “I was really stressed trying to make this three times in a row. This place is everything to me. I love to win here and I’ll be back next year with new tricks.”
Sherwood put up a great fight in the final, eager to get his second Madrid win and ninth career victory. He was the first rider to beat Moore this season in a thrilling semi-final but came up short against Pagès despite a strong performance and a spectacular Transfer Flip Superman.
Defending World Tour champion Josh Sheehan (AUS) was eliminated in the Quarter Finals after crashing at the end of his Double Back Flip.
Local hero Dany Torres (ESP) extended his record to 22 straight Red Bull X-Fighters starts but the two-time Madrid winner was eliminated in Round 1, falling victim to the vast improvement of the competition.
The fourth stop of the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour is in Pretoria, South Africa on September 12 ahead of the grand finale on October 30 in the United Arab Emirates.
1. Tom Pagès (FRA)
2. Levi Sherwood (NZL)
3. Clinton Moore (AUS)
4. David Rinaldo (FRA)
5. Josh Sheehan (AUS)
6. Adam Jones (USA)
7. Taka Higashino (JPN)
8. Rob Adelberg (AUS)
9. Maikel Melero (ESP)
10. Javier Villegas (CHI)
11, Dany Torres (ESP)
12. Rémi Bizouard (FRA)
Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour Standings
1. Moore 200 points
2. Pagès 180
3. Sherwood 160
4. Rinaldo 110
5. Adelberg 90
6. Torres 90
7. Sheehan 90
8. Jones 70
9. Bizouard 65
10. Villegas 45