Day one at X Games Minneapolis 2019 officially went down in the history books!
Monster Energy congratulates Jarryd McNeil on claiming gold in SoFi Moto X Step Up for the fourth year in a row on Thursday night. In front of a high-energy crowd outside U.S. Bank Stadium in Downtown Minneapolis, the 28-year-old from Yarrawonga, Australia, made history as the first motocross athlete to win four consecutive X Games gold medals in the same Moto X discipline. He was followed by teammate Bryce Hudson from Temecula, California, taking home the silver medal.
As the first motocross event in an action-packed line-up at X Games Minneapolis, Moto X Step Up saw six finalists looking to post the highest motocross air over a steep kicker and crossbar into a banked landing. Each rider was given two attempts to clear the bar as the height increased from 30-feet upwards.
Coming in as the clear favorite after winning Moto X Step Up at the last three consecutive Summer X Games, McNeil cleared the bar with room to spare on each attempt. The rest of the field kept close on his heels and as the bar climbed to 38 feet, four riders were still standing.
But that was about to change. While the sun set over Downtown Minneapolis, things got real at the 40-feet mark. One by one, the world’s best motocross aerialists found themselves taken out, also including certified podium threat Colby Raha. Monster Energy’s Hudson was back on track after suffering a dislocated shoulder in Step Up practice last year and cleared the 38-feet height without a problem. But he also clipped the bar twice at 40 feet, taking home the silver medal as his fifth career X Games medal (1 gold, 4 silver).
With everyone else out of running, McNeil was suddenly facing a straight shot at making history – all it took was clearing the 40-feet benchmark.
Boosting off the launch ramp, McNeil cleared the height but missed the right angle, touching the bar on his first attempt for 40-feet. All or nothing. Revving his engine as the crowd cheered him on, the Australian jumped straight into the X Games history books by getting the perfect vertical arch to clear the bar and bring home Moto X Step Up gold for the fourth time in a row.
This marks the first time a Moto X athlete has won back-to-back gold in any motocross discipline. McNeil has dominated Step Up like no other rider before; he only touched the bar on one single attempt over the past two years and has held the top spot since his win at X Games Austin 2016. Thursday night’s victory brings McNeil’s X Games medal count to 13 medals overall (8 gold, three silver, and two bronze). He already holds the most gold medals among Australian athletes in X Games history – and his X Games Minneapolis 2019 run is far from finished.
Look forward to more history in the making, as McNeil also ranks as a gold medal favorite in Saturday’s Moto X Best Whip and a podium contender in Friday’s Moto X Quarterpipe High Air. This brings another historic feat within close reach: If McNeil wins one more gold medal, he will tie Travis Pastrana for most all-time gold in Moto X history with nine total. Winning two gold would put him in a league of his own. Is it going to happen at this X Games? Stay tuned for more.
ESPN and ABC will televise a combined 18 hours of live X Games Minneapolis 2019 coverage. Eight-and-a-half additional hours of event coverage will be streamed live on the X Games Facebook, YouTube and Twitter pages to fans in the United States. X Games Minneapolis coverage will also be accessible via the ESPN App to viewers who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider.
Following X Games Minneapolis 2019, ABC will show four hours of programming on Saturday, August 10, as part of the World of X Games series as well as a one-hour Best of Show featuring athletic and musical highlights on Saturday, August 17.
Don’t miss out on the action in the Twin Cities. Score all the exclusive updates from X Games Minneapolis 2019 including photos and contest results as they happen visit http://www.monsterenergy.com. Follow Monster Energy on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter and watch the official Monster Energy hashtag #unleashedatx on social media.
About Monster Energy
Based in Corona, California, Monster Energy is the leading marketer and distributor of energy drinks and alternative beverages. Refusing to acknowledge the traditional, Monster Energy supports the scene and sport. Whether motocross, off-road, NASCAR, MMA, BMX, surf, snowboard, ski, skateboard, or the rock and roll lifestyle, Monster Energy is a brand that believes in authenticity and the core of what its sports, athletes and musicians represent. More than a drink, it’s the way of life lived by athletes, sports, bands, believers and fans. See more about Monster Energy including all of its drinks at http://www.monsterenergy.com.