ROME (Italy) – The wave would not stop rolling through the Stadio Olimpico crowd as Nate Adams and Andre Villa were revving up for the start of the final showdown battle on two wheels. When it finally did, Adams got off 18 flawless jumps within the 120-second time limit to win over the five-member gladiator jury, picking up his fifth victory in the 11-year history of the Red Bull X-Fighters. “Now I’m going for the Tour title,” the 27-year-old American said afterwards. “It was the most difficult win in my career after I had a crash in Qualifying.”
On the biggest FMX course ever built in Italy – with 11 kickers and 8 dirt landings – the athletes pushed themselves to their limits, jumping distances of up to 30 meters and as high as 15 meters. Co-favorite Dany Torres (ESP), who won in Rome last year, sent a shiver through the big crowd when he crashed at the end of a botched landing in the second round. His bike veered off the course and into a barrier. “I came here with five broken bones that weren’t quite healed but nevertheless won the Qualifying round,” he said.