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Deegan still the X factor

Steve Benson
Brian Deegan of Temecula, Calif., pulls a one-handed back flip during the Moto X best trick competition at Buttermilk on Sunday. Deegan won the gold. Vail Daily photo/Bret Hartman.
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Brian Deegan proved Sunday night that no obstacle is too great for the king of carnage.In winning the Moto X best trick, Deegan dominated the same X Games event that landed him in the hospital with a broken leg and two broken wrists last year.”This is just a huge relief for me,” he said. “You don’t know how tough it was coming back from that crash, but that’s what this is all about.”

Deegan, from Temecula, Calif., won by landing a no-feet, one-handed back flip, a trick that garnered a score of 93 in the best-of-two event. Jeff Kargola, Deegan’s teammate on Metal Mulisha and a virtual giant in Moto X at 6 feet 2 inches – the next tallest competitor in the event was 5-feet-9 – placed second with a 92.2. “It’s been a great night, what can I say?” Kargola, from San Clemente, Calif., said in a press release. “It was great to walk away with a medal because that’s what it’s all about.”Winter X Games newcomer Dustin Miller, of Gardnerville, Nev., placed third with a 91.6. He seemed poised to score higher after sticking a super-technical, crowd-inspiring, one-handed switch Superman seat grab before landing with no hands.

But Miller maintains he wasn’t disappointed by the score.”I didn’t even care,” he said. “I’m just glad and stunned I even landed. I’m pretty damn excited.” Miller had never ridden in snow before this year’s X Games, but that wasn’t his only first.”I’ve never landed with no hands before,” he said.Representatives from the Guinness Book of World Records were in attendance Sunday night anticipating a 360, which has never been landed in snow. Deegan hinted earlier that he may attempt the trick in the finals.

But when Kargola, who was the last competitor to run before Deegan, came up short with a score of 92.2, Deegan was awarded gold and played it safe for his last trick.Deegan said he was ready to throw the 360 if it was needed.”You have to top [the other riders],” he said. “That’s just the way it works.” Deegan’s victory padded an already sparkling X Games résumé, with 10 medals between Winter and Summer X (three gold, seven bronze). His win Sunday night marked the first time there has been a two-time gold medalist in Moto X. Deegan also won gold in 2002. Steve Benson’s e-mail address is sbenson@aspentimes.com


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