After heavy, gusting winds caused the cancellation of the finals in Glen Helen it was Australia’s Rob Adelberg who claimed victory on the world’s biggest FMX track. Adelberg’s first Red Bull X-Fighters career victory came about thanks to his qualifying score obtained earlier in the day.
“I started my winning run with one of the hardest tricks I've ever done - the cliff-hanger flip - and it was the best I've ever done,” said Adelberg.
Triumph in Glen Helen tasted extra sweet for Adelberg after suffering severe misfortune in California on a previous tour. On that occasion the Australian crash-landed on the rim with his jaw hitting the ground first. “It fractured my jaw and separated my gum,” he said. “But I stayed on top. I had to run all the way down the hill with a broken jaw. I could feel my jaw bouncing with each step."
France’s Tom Pages was second in Glen Helen and moved ahead of Spain’s Dany Torres in the overall standings halfway through the season. Taka Higashino finished third, a solid result before the tour stops in his native Japan next month.
Dany Torres summed up the disappointment felt by the FMX riders after it was decided that the knock-out rounds needed to be cancelled. "The wind was also blowing in the morning during qualifying," he said. “The riders jump up to 15 meters high on their motorcycles and are airborne for distances covering up to 30 meters.”
It was not only the riders who were left with a feeling of what might have been. Crew members had worked heroically to build the Glen Helen FMX course, moving tons of dirt and building an arena to accommodate the capacity crowd of 15,000 spectators.
Glen Helen Final results: 1. Rob Adelberg (AUS), 2. Thomas Pages (FRA), 3. Taka Higashino (JPN), 4. Javier Villegas (Chile), 5. Adam Jones (USA), 6. David Rinaldo (FRA), 7. Dany Torres (ESP), 8. Josh Sheehan (AUS), 9. Wes Agee (USA), 10. Brody Wilson (USA), 11. Todd Potter (USA)
World Tour standings: 1. Pages 245, 2. Torres 210, 3. Adelberg 210, 4. Levi Sherwood (NZL) 145, 5. Sheehan 90, 6. Rinaldo 80, 7. Higashino 65, 8. Maikel Melero (ESP) 60, 9. Villegas 60, 10. Potter 50