France’s Tom Pages was crowned the 2013 Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour Champion with a heart-stopping performance in Madrid to complete the most exciting season in the 13-year history of the world’s premier freestyle motocross competition with more winners and more spectacular tricks than ever before.
Higashino, Pages & Villegas – photo: Daniel Grund/Red Bull Content Pool
MADRID (Spain) – Tom Pages of France won the 2013 Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour on Friday in front of a frenzied Madrid crowd of 23,000 with what was probably the most electrifying runs ever in the season finale. Japan’s Taka Hagashino finished second on a thrilling night of FMX in Madrid’s famous Las Ventas bullring with Javier Villegas of Chile taking third place. Pages took the World Tour championship with 360 points with the 2011 champion, Dany Torres of Spain, in second with 260 points.
photo: Jorg Mitter /Red Bull Content Pool
It was the most spectacular season in the 13-year-history of Red Bull X-Fighters as riders pushed the envelope with new tricks and there were four different winners in the five stops on three continents – Pages won the season opener in Mexico City (MEX), Dany Torres was on top in Dubai (UAE), Rob Adelberg got first in Glen Helen (USA), Taka Higashino won Osaka (JPN) before Pages won in Madrid (ESP) in spectacular fashion – with what was being called the best FMX run ever. Torres won the Swatch Best Move Award. Due to situations beyond the control of the Red Bull X-Fighters organizing team, the stop in Pretoria, South Africa scheduled for September was cancelled because the execution of a world-class sportive competition could not be guaranteed. That meant Madrid was turned into the season finale.
Tom Pages with his new trick – The Tsunami Flair – photo: Flo Hagena / Red Bull Content
Pages took FMX to new heights in front of the big Madrid crowd, the most enthusiastic on the calendar each year. He dug deep into his big bag of tricks. Reflecting how close the world’s FMX elite has become, the Frenchman became the fourth different World Tour champion in the last four years. Pages epitomized consistency all season, getting on the podium in all five events. On Friday he gave what was probably his most brilliant performance ever in the final against Higashino, nailing his scintillating Flair (a 540 off a quarter-pipe), his Special Flip (a mid-air back-flip above his seat) and the Volt (a mid-air 360-degree spin off his bike) and then sending the crowd into ecstasy with his new trick, a Flair Tsunami – with his legs flying high into the moonlit night sky.
Tom Pages throwing a Volt – photo: Daniel Grund/Red Bull Content Pool
“This is more than a dream, it’s just amazing”, Pages said, clearly delighted to get his first victory in Madrid. “This is the best crowd in the world.” The 2012 champion, Levi Sherwood of New Zealand, took home a disappointing fifth overall.
Levi Sherwood throwing a big steezy turntable – photo: Daniel Grund/Red Bull Content Pool
Japan’s Taka Higashino put in an awesome run in the final to take a solid Second place, throwing some of the best backflip variations in the world, including his insane rock solid backflip.
Taka Higashino throwing a massive superflip – photo: Flo Hagena / Red Bull Content Pool
Dany Torres throwing a big Double grab flip – photo: Daniel Grund/Red Bull Content Pool
Spain’s Maikel Melero was having an amazing night in Madrid, taking out friend, riding buddy and mentor Dany Torres in the quarter finals. Unfortunately a slam on a Flair in the Semi’s would cut his night short. Maikel tried to carry on his run after going down, but a combination of a twisted bike and a sore shoulder was enough to force him to retire.
Maikel Melero – photo: Jorg Mitter /Red Bull Content Pool
Javier Villegas – photo: Oscar Carrascosa/Red Bull Content Pool
1. Thomas Pages (FRA)
2. Taka Higashino (JPN)
3. Javier Villegas (CHL)
4. Maikel Melero (ESP)
5. Dany Torres (ESP)
6. Levi Sherwood (NZL)
7. Rob Adelberg (AUS)
8. Josh Sheehan (AUS)
9. David Rinaldo (FRA)
10. Clinton Moore (AUS).
Final 2013 Wold Tour standings:
1. Pages 360 points,
2. Torres 260,
3. Higashino 245,
4. Adelberg 240,
5. Sherwood 225,
6. Villegas 150,
7. Rinaldo 125,
8. Adam Jones (USA) 120,
9. Melero 115,
10. Sheehan 115