No less than four former World Champions took to the dirt at the first stop on the Red Bull X-Fighters 2015 tour in Mexico on Friday but the man celebrating victory at the end of the night was doing so for the very first time.
Australian rider Clinton Moore stunned the experienced field to finally claim his debut X-Fighters victory, following six previous failed attempts to advance past the quarter-finals. Levi Sherwood made history by landing the first-ever Transfer Flip thrown in competition but it was not enough to beat Moore in the final, who also defeated Tom Pagès in the semis.
With defending champion Josh Sheehan missing the event, Pagès, infamous for his unique and progressive tricks, looked to be the favourite but the 26-year-old Moore threw down some bangers of his own including a Bundy body varial and a Flair off the quarter pipe to finally climb to the top of the podium.
“Honestly I don’t know how to feel,” said Moore. “It’s such an amazing feeling being up there and knowing that you’ve won. This is finally my dream. I finally did it. It’s a reality now.
“I’ve put so much hard work and years into the X-Fighters and had some bad luck and some ok luck and it felt like I was finally getting there.
“Then it was a bad start last year. Now this year I was happy to be top five and now I’m number one. Words can’t explain it, I’m very happy.”
The event marked the ten-year anniversary of the X-Fighters in Mexico City and the progression of tricks since the first visit has been incredible.
Last season that was especially clear to see with Pagès landing the first-ever Bike Flip and Sheehan stomping countless double-backflips as they battled for the championship.
Looking to regain his 2013 title, Sherwood unveiled a new trick of his own, the Transfer Flip on a new feature designed for the 2015 season, and was unlucky it didn’t fire him to victory - but he says there is plenty more to come from him this season.
“The new tricks are special,” said Sherwood. “It’s more about the new jump that is introducing something new. That’s what I hope to bring for the years to come.
“That’s the first time I’ve ridden in a long time where I’ve felt like I couldn’t have done much better so I take my hat off to Clinton. I’m pretty bummed with second place, I never really like that position, but I can only go on to the next round.”
There is plenty of time for the rest of the stacked field to perfect their unique new tricks, with Pagès yet to land his new Alley-oop Flair in competition, as the next round takes place in Athens, Greece on 12th June.