Pagès mastered his Bike Flip, his Special Flip, his new Front Flip Flair and the Volt – amazing tricks. Photograph: (Reuters)
At the Las Ventas bullring Pagès treated the crowd to his new Front Flip Flair, the first time ever the trick was performed in competition
In an epic three-way battle featuring the world’s best FMX riders, Thomas Pagès emerged victorious at the Red Bull X-Fighters event in Madrid for a record-breaking fourth consecutive year on Friday.
The flying Frenchman sent the sold-out crowd of more than 20,000 at the Las Ventas bullring into a state of euphoria with a brilliant run against Clinton Moore and Josh Sheehan Australia in a gripping final. He filled his run with gravity-defying tricks of up to 15 metres high.
Moore, the 2015 World Tour champion, came in a close second after a flawless run in the final with his Bundy jump recorded to be 14 metres high by a new Intel high-tech device.
Sheehan had to settle for third despite nailing his signature double back flip. Levi Sherwood (NZL) finished fourth on an unforgettable night at the FMX extravaganza in the Spanish capital. No other riders have won Madrid more than twice.
“That’s insane,” said Pagès, trying to catch his breath after dazzling the appreciative crowd on Friday with a stunning comeback following his lowly 11th place finish in Thursday’s Qualifying marred by a heavy crash. “I was really stressed coming here with the new tricks. But it all worked out. Madrid is the best place in the world for FMX. It’s incredible. What a place to be!”
Pagès won all five helmets from the judges in a clean sweep of the first three-way final in the history of the Red Bull X-Fighters, one of the many innovations added for the stop in Madrid.
The 31-year-old Pagès, who won the World Tour in 2013, mastered his Bike Flip, his Special Flip, his new Front Flip Flair and the Volt – amazing tricks that only a few years ago would have been enough on their own to win an event.
"I'm very happy with my run," said Moore. "It was definitely one one of my best runs ever. I've got a little more homework to do. Hopefully next time I'll be even better prepared and do an even better run."