In this week’s edition of Extreme Exposure—a weekly column featuring news and photography from the world of action and outdoor sports—the X Games announces its 2016 lineup, the Monster Energy Supercross in Anaheim gets kind of ugly and Lindsey Vonn is still money.
Still in the Money
It was a good weekend for Lindsey Vonn, who extended her Super G win streak to four and pulled to within 38 points of the Overall World Cup lead this weekend at Altenmarkt, Austria. It was Vonn’s 73rd World Cup victory and came just when America’s best racer needed it. “I had a lot of confidence after Lake Louise, and then in Val d’Isere I felt like I lost my confidence a little bit after going out in the downhill,” she said. “I went home, I had a good break and I feel energized again. I feel really good mentally and physically, and I think that showed in this weekend’s racing.” This is the second time in Vonn’s career that she has won four races in a row. The first time was in 2009, and her current streak dates back to March of last year. Vonn holds an 80-point lead in the World Cup Super G standings.
Let’s Get Physical
Things got super-physical at the opening event of the Monster Energy Supercross in Anaheim, Calif., this weekend. In one of the heat races to qualify for the main event, Vince Friese took a wide line and forced Weston Peick off the track. The pair have a history with one another, and in the semis their rivalry exploded when Friese again took an aggressive line on Peick and the two wiped out in a pile on the track. That’s when Peick unleashed a series of blows to the back of Freise’s head in retaliation. Peick was immediately booted, fined $5,000 and suspended from next weekend’s race in San Diego.
In an exciting 250 SX final, Jessy Nelson built a sizeable lead over the field but Cooper Webb was able to reel him in, and when Nelson made a misstep in one of the jump sections Webb was able to overtake him and nab his seventh career win. In the 450SX class, Jason Anderson grabbed the first victory of his career after the race was restarted following a nasty collision between Ryan Dungey and James Stewart. Stewart was unable to continue in front of a sold-out crowd of more than 45,000 people.
It’s Getting Real
Last week, ESPN’s X Games franchise announced the 2016 lineup of its successful Real Series video contest, in which different X segment athletes compete, creating edits which are viewed by industry experts who decide a winner. There’s also an audience format, in which viewers vote on winning edits through a bracket, tournament style. The winner of the fan balloting gets an additional cash prize. The 2016 Real lineup includes ski, snowboard, street skating and motocross and, new this year, BMX. The Real Ski comp will also switch emphasis this season from backcountry riding to urban video parts and will be the first to air on ABC, February 20. Action sports athletes have always been big proponents of the video contest formats because it allows them to film in locales that are more suited to progression as opposed to a set course or competition at an event. “Filming video parts has always been such a driving force in the progression of skiing,” said first-time invitee Clayton Vila, who’ll compete in the Real Ski street comp. “But often the people who solely make video parts get overlooked. This event brings a whole new level of legitimacy to our sport, and is an amazing opportunity to show the world how far street skiing has progressed.”