Everybody makes mistakes. We’ve all had those moments in life when we wish could just put the clock back, get a grip on ourselves, and change things ever so slightly so we don’t end up with the proverbial egg all over our proverbial face. But in competitive motocross, the stakes are just that little bit higher. Australia’s Meghan Rutledge found this out to her cost at the X Games LA 2013.
Commentators, spectators and riders alike knew that Rutledge was the one to beat. Although only 18 years of age, she had competed in a similar tournament in her home country against the under-19 men, and at the X Games LA 2012 was able to finish in fourth place despite a broken wrist. Impressive stuff, and from the off Rutledge maintained a comfortable lead ahead of her competitors. In fact until the final lap it appeared as if the fiercest competition would be for the silver medal, as Italian first-timer Kiara Fontanesi and Jessica Patterson of the USA both made American Vicki Golden work hard for her position in second place.
But an ill advised mid-air fist-pump from Rutledge as she flew over the final steel ramp changed everything. Unable to steady herself as her bike began to nosedive, and with her hand too far from the throttle to power back onto the course once she hit the dirt, she was left dumbfounded as Golden steadily passed her by to take victory in the final seconds. As they say in motocross, ouch! It’s all captured in excruciating detail here, so have a look if you enjoy a side portion of schadenfreude with your electrifying motocross action.