Jarryd McNeil and Libor Podmol shared the first gold medal of the 2016 X Games. McNeil and Podmol each cleared the bar at 33 feet in Moto X Step Up — essentially a high-jump competition on motorcycles — while Massimo Bianconcini took bronze after clearing 32 feet.
The three medalists locked up a top-three position after the rest of the eight-man field bowed out at 30 feet or lower.
“It’s great to win and start off like this,” McNeil said in a post-podium interview. “I knew what he (Podmol) was going to be capable of so I had to be ready.”
Motox X Step was one of two kick-off events Thursday, and both were held at the dirt track about a mile away from Circuit of the Americas. Shuttles were setup to take spectators to the dirt track, which was built last year for flat-track racing.
In Flat-Track won the gold with a time of 6:35.907. Kenny Coolbeth Jr. was the silver medalist, while Brad Baker claimed bronze.
It stayed dry Thursday, but the schedule was slightly altered with storms set to role into the area later. The last chance qualifier in Flat-Track was cancelled to quicken the schedule, while Thursday’s planned concert by Reverend Horton Heat was cancelled due to track conditions.
Celebrating it’s third and final year in Austin, the X Games didn’t have a downtown kick-off event like years past. The two events Thursday were well-attended at the smaller venue, but lacked the buzz of the 2014 and 2015 events that took place downtown.