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Nyquist Has Flair for Dramatic

Spectacular jump on final attempt vaults him from eighth to first in Bike Stunt Dirt event.

August 15, 2003|Peter Yoon | Times Staff Writer

The jump is called the "No-footie can-can to nothing to bar spin," but it may as well be called the "You can't touch this."

Ryan Nyquist landed the trick on the final jump of the final run in the X Games Bike Stunt Dirt finals Thursday night at Staples Center, and when it comes to that event this year, nobody can touch Nyquist.

In eighth place before the final run, coming off two crashes in his second run, Nyquist, undefeated in the Bike Stunt Dirt this year, turned in a dazzling final run worth 92.8 points and soared into first place.

He started the run with a 360 -- a full sideways spin -- on the first jump, then followed it with a difficult 720 on the second jump and a no-handed jump on the third.

Coming back, he picked up speed through the fourth jump and then pulled the trick that nobody had seen.

He started by removing both feet from the pedals, replaced the left and kicked his right foot over the bike frame and back. After both feet were back in place, he removed both hands, spun the handlebar, caught it and landed.

The crowd-thrilling run raised his average to 92.7.

"I just put together a run that I thought was going to be good and it worked, thank goodness," said Nyquist, 24, from Greenville, N.C. "I crashed in my second run and I rode away from that and I was like, man, there is so much pressure."

It is the ninth X Games medal for Nyquist, the sixth in this event and the second gold in this event.

Stephen Murray, who crashed while attempting a double back flip in his first run, needed a big final run to win.

On his second run, he completed the difficult double back flip and earned 93.8 points -- the best single run of the night. But scores are determined by averaging the best two of three runs.

On his final jump, Murray attempted a back flip with a 360-degree spin and came up just short and finished fourth.

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