Track Setup and Challenges
For the 2016 Austin X Games BMX Dirt Final, the dirt track design was expertly crafted in preparation for the professional BMX competitors. In order for a dirt surface BMX contest to be fair and equitable to all competing riders, the track has to be exactly even and not designed with dangerous inconsistencies which can pose a hazard to riders placed in the unfortunate path of such obstacles. The track design at the Austin BMX Dirt Final Round event was composed of multiple kickers, gaps, roll-in designs, and other implements that made for an advanced skill level track for the competitors to utilize.
By including several different gaps and pump ramps, the track was designed to maximize flow and allow riders to maintain and amplify their inertia as they move through the track. This is to say that a medium to large sized gap in the dirt track forces riders to clear the gap at high speed, and that actually amplifies their speed down into the next corridor of the track.
Highlights of 2016 Austin X Games BMX Dirt Final
When one thinks of the primary highlights from the 2016 BMX Dirt Final some of the major airs and big launches in the track definitely come to mind. The main pack holding out in front of the race was composed of the top riders in the final, which were Kevin Peraza, Ben Wallace, and James Foster. These three contenders were neck and neck for a time during the race, and watching them sail over the gaps in such close quarters was most certainly a main highlight of the overall final round of this BMX dirt competition.
As Peraza and Wallace were trading 1st place spot with each other, their intensity was amazing to everyone watching them compete. It was very difficult to determine who was going to win at certain points, which helped to make this BMX Dirt Final Round event at the 2016 Austin X Games an especially engaging competition event.
Competitors and Final Round Scores
As previously mentioned, the close nature of this final round between James Foster, Ben Wallace, and Kevin Peraza was truly a sight to behold at the 2016 Austin X Games. But, despite the intensity possessed by all three of these top finishers in the event, Kevin Peraza managed to pull off the first place position in the BMX Dirt final. During the event, many people were quite uncertain as to who would pull off the gold medal finish, but Peraza’s big air launches and smooth landings allowed him to pull into first before the conclusion of the final round.
1st Place – GOLD - Kevin Peraza:
Kevin Peraza, after fighting and clawing his way into first place, managed to take the gold in the BMX Dirt final round event. While there are several different pro BMX Events in the 2016 Austin X Games, the dirt track final is unique because the challenges are entirely different than a half pipe or a street course. Being able to handle massive jumps in extremely close quarters with other riders was something Kevin Peraza managed to accommodate quite well in this event final round, and his ability to stay up through the finish was a major factor in his victory.
Bringing in a gold 1st place Top Run scoring of 88.00, Peraza, handily bested the second place rider by a massive margin of seven entire points. He did this by finally pulling away from the second and third place riders near the end of the event final, and put a solid distance between himself and the competition with a huge final effort in the race that gave him explosive momentum.
2nd Place – SILVER - Ben Wallace:
While by the end of the race Ben Wallace had lost pacing with the winner Kevin Peraza, he still put in a valiant effort, which was evidenced by his strong final Top Run scoring of 81.00. Winning the silver spot was a great achievement for Ben Wallace, and he certainly gave his all in this event but was simply outmatched by Peraza’s ferocity toward the end of the competition.
Keeping pace with Peraza was something that Wallace was able to do earlier on in the event, but slight loss of stamina seemed to be a culprit in why Peraza burned him later in the competition. Given that this may have put a slight chip on Wallace’s shoulder, we should be interested to see how he does in future events. Perhaps this near victory will light an even bigger fire under him in the next competitions.
3rd Place – BRONZE - James Foster:
James Foster, like the 2nd place finisher Ben Wallace, ended up losing to his next place competitor by a wide-berth margin. Earning a Top Run final scoring of 73.00, James Foster actually ended up placing full eight points behind the second place finisher. This wide margin finish of the top three competitors that ranged from 73.00 to 88.00 between the three, was a product of a very exciting finish in this competition.
Essentially, they were all tracking on Kevin Peraza, and Peraza created a target for Wallace and Foster to hone in on as they finished the event. While Foster did end up coming in almost ten points behind second place, he is likely still relishing in the fact of simply earning a coveted Bronze finish nonetheless. Even a bronze finish is sure to boost the morale of any professional BMX rider.