Ronnie Renner celebrated his third-straight gold medal in Moto X Step Up while the first ever Harley-Davidson Flat –Track Racing event kicked off the 21st summer X Games in Austin.
Action sports biggest festival returned to Texas after celebrating the 20th anniversary in style last year with over 200 athletes across 20 disciplines preparing to entertain massive crowds over the next three days.
But it was a familiar face that triumphed in the Step Up event in front of the famous state capitol building in downtown Austin as Renner picked up his seventh X Games gold.
The American cleared 34 feet to beat Italian Massimo Bianconcini and countryman Bryce Hudson to the top of the podium to continue his recent dominance in an event that has now seen him win 12 medals in total.
“I would’ve never guessed 20 years ago when I started watching X Games that I would have my own gold medal—especially seven of them. This one means a lot,” said Renner.
Elsewhere, Bryan Smith became the first winner of the new Flat-Track Racing event involving 24 racers competeing on a 3/8 mile oval dirt track at hair-raising speeds.
AMA Pro Flat Track champion Jared Mees lead the field throughout the 20-lap final but a dramatic mechanical failure allowed Smith to steal a dream victory at the last moment, with Sammy Halbert and Brad Baker rounding off the podium.
“I just hammered down that last corner and went for it,” he said. “To survive here and come home with a gold medal, it’s a dream come true really.”
The first full day of X Games Austin 2015 gets underway on Friday with the BMX Vert competition in which Jamie Bestwick will be chasing a 10th-straight gold medal before Skateboard Vert and BMX Park medals are awarded.
In the evening, Moto X Enduro also goes down with Skateboard Big Air rounding off what could be an historic day in Texas.
Stay with Extreme.com for all the highlights, news and results you need from X Games Austin 2015!