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Taddy Blazusiak wins fourth Enduro X gold

Staff Writer
Austin 360

By Dave Doolittle

Editor’s note: This article was originally published June 6, 2014

Taddy Blazusiak won his fourth X Games Enduro X gold medal at Circuit of the Americas on Friday, but don’t think defending last year’s victory came easy.

The 31-year-old from Poland took the lead for good early on the second lap of the 10-lap race and then began building a commanding lead over American Colton Haaker and Spain’s Alfredo Gomez.

But a fall in the fifth lap made things interesting.

Blazusiak crashed while landing a jump, and although he was able to back on in time to keep his lead, Haaker was right on his back wheel.

The two battled hard over the next few laps, and at times Haaker made a move to get around, but Blazusiak held off each advance.

Blazusiak caught a break early in the ninth when the pair came up on lapped riders who were spinning their wheels in a cluster of large rocks. Blazusiak got out of the obstacle first, but Haaker wasn’t as lucky and was passed by Cody Webb to fall back to third.

Blazusiak went on to take the win followed by Webb and Gomez, who passed Haaker in the ninth lap.

In the eight-lap women’s final, 23-year-old Kacy Martinez won her first X Games gold, crossing the finish line 10 seconds ahead of Sandra Gómez Cantero of Spain and almost 30 seconds ahead of American Rachel Guttish, 18, who missed her high school graduation to earn her first X Games medal.

Men’s round 1 report: Last year’s men’s Enduro X gold medalist Taddy Blazusiak was among the 10 riders to advance out of the first round and into the final at the X Games at Circuit of the Americas.

Blazusiak — of Poland, one four X Games medals including three golds — led last year’s silver medalist Mike Brown, Alfredo Gomez, Geoff Aaron and Ty Tremaine in the second heat.

In the first heat, Colton Haaker led Cody Webb, Taylor Robert, Max Gerston and Chris Hollis across the finish line.

Twenty-four riders came into the competition hoping to take the inaugural gold at Circuit of the Americas. The dirt course features jumps and various obstacles such as rocks, logs, wood chips and water.

The competition is split into two rounds. Round one consists of two six-lap heats with 10 riders each, and the top five riders in each heat advance to the final. The 14 riders who do not advance have a final shot in a six-lap Last Chance Qualifying race, where the top two will advance.

In the last-chance race Friday, Cory Graffunder of Canada and Kyle Redmond advanced to the final.

The final is a 10-lap showdown among the final 12 riders.

The women’s competition features 12 riders who race in only a six-lap final.