Vince Byron knocks off 9-time winner Jamie Bestwick in BMX Vert

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The streak is over.

Vince Byron, a 25-year-old Aussie, knocked off England’s Jamie Bestwick to win BMX Vert, Friday, to open the X Games at Circuit of the Americas.

Bestwick had won the last nine BMX Vert finals, an X Games record.

Bestwick bowed to the crowd after his second and final run, knowing that his last try wasn’t good enough to beat Byron’s.

Bestwick then asked to place the gold medal around Byron’s neck. The two were the only ones in the field to crack 90. Bestwick’s best score was a 91.

England’s Simon Tabron, who was the silver medalist in Austin last year, won bronze with a score of 89.66.

 

Follow Live: X Games Austin 2015

Follow our team’s X Games live coverage at the Circuit of the Americas – with eyes on sports, music, fashion and everything else we can spot!

Biggest and best moments from X Games 2014

Before the 2015 X games get underway, take a look back at the highlights from 2014, the first year in which Austin welcomed the 20-year-old sporting extravaganza. Despite high heat and high humidity, it was one of the biggest ever games.

Photo by Ricardo Brazziell
Photo by Ricardo Brazziell

• First, if you’re new to X Games, check out our “A to X: Everything you need to know about the X Games” interactive.

Photos: Best of X Games Austin 2014

• You can relive the action with our “stoked” writers’ recaps of their top five moments from the 2014 X Games.

• 2014 also saw the debut of Stadium Super Trucks, much to the crowd’s delight.

• As for hometown pride, in 2014 Austinite Chase Hawk took home the gold in BMX park while local rock star Gary Clark Jr. brought the heat during his X Games musical performance. Music giants Kanye West, Pretty Lights and the Flaming Lips were also featured on the X Games music lineup.

• At an estimated 160,000, Austin’s 2014 crowd was the biggest X Games crowd in ten years.

We hope you’re ready, because the X Games will be back before you know it (tomorrow!). In addition to competitions between 215 athletes from 20 countries and 26 states,Metallica, Nicki Minaj, Talib Kweli and Austin favorites Bright Light Social Hour are set to perform this year.

Les Paul Melody Maker part of X Games medalists’ hardware

Ricardo B. Brazziell BMX vert medalists from left Simon Tabron, Jamie Bestwick and Dennis McCoy pose with their medals and guitars Thursday during the X Games. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / American-Statesman Staff
Ricardo B. Brazziell
BMX vert medalists from left Simon Tabron, Jamie Bestwick and Dennis McCoy pose with their medals and guitars Thursday during the X Games. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / American-Statesman Staff

X Games athletes who finished on the podium over the weekend got more than just medals for hardware. Each were awarded Gibson Les Paul Melody Makers as well.

The guitars, as you can imagine, were also gold, silver and bronze and featured the X Games Austin logo on the front.

“It gives that Austin flair to the moment, and kind of helps just remind people where we’re at when we’re giving the medals,” said Tim Reed, ESPN’s senior director of events and content for the X Games. “Austin’s cool, and music’s important so it’s just kind of a way to connect the dots there.”

The medals themselves were also special to the Lone Star State. Each featured a longhorn skull and the X Games logo, and on the back had a loop and a prong so they can be worn as a belt buckle. Yee haw.