Hibbert golden again at X Games
Parsons tops freestyle, LaVallee attempts double back flip
Story by Snowmobile.com Staff, Photography by Alfonse Palaima, Jan 25, 2009
Team Arctic’s Tucker Hibbert delivered the most dominating Snocross performance in Winter X Games history, while BRP/Ski-Doo X-Team rider Joe Parsons took home a pair of gold medals in Freestyle and Speed & Style.
As he has done all season long, Hibbert nailed the holeshot in the 15-racer, 20-lap final on Saturday, Jan. 24 in Aspen, Colo. and threw down a dozen fierce laps that no other rider could match. By the time he took the checkered flag, the 25-year-old racer had a 36-second lead and lapped all but the top-five racers.
“Things couldn’t have gone any better,” says Hibbert. “I knew I could win but to win by 36 seconds is overwhelming. I went out there and raced my own race and didn’t worry about anyone else and it worked.
“The entire Monster Energy/Arctic Cat crew has been working so hard. We did a lot of testing in Colorado and got our sled setup perfect. I came into this race the most confident I have ever been in my career. I’ve never been so mentally and physically prepared. The good Lord gave me a lot of talent to ride a snowmobile and I think it’s the combination of all these things that makes me so dominant.”
This year marked Hibbert’s tenth appearance at the Winter X Games and with this victory, he matched two of Blair Morgan’s X Games records. Hibbert and Morgan now both have eight total medals and are the only two riders to three-peat in snocross. To watch Hibbert’s gold medal run, visit http://www.xgames.com/.
Ski-Doo’s Robbie Malinoski finished second, while Dan Ebert rode his Arctic sled to third. Polaris’ Levi LaVallee crossed the finish in fourth, followed by Arctic Cat’s Ryan Simons, giving Team Arctic three of the top five spots in the final.
“It was an incredible and successful X Games for our team,” says Team Arctic race team manager Mike Kloety. “All of our racers and teams who made the journey to Aspen put on an incredible show.”
Double Gold for Parsons
Ski-Doo’s Parsons picked up the first of his two Winter X Games gold medals on Thursday, Jan. 22 in Speed & Style. Parsons held off defending champ LaVallee in the final to secure the victory. Arctic Cat’s Cory Davis took home the bronze.
Speed and Style, which was introduced at last year’s event, combines snocross-style racing (Speed) and the tricks of freestyle competitions (Style).
Parsons was golden again on Sunday, Jan. 25 in Snowmobile Freestyle. He edged Heath Frisby in the semis and outdid Justin Hoyer in the final.
LaVallee Makes History
Though he didn’t win gold, the defining moment of the Winter X Games went to LaVallee. In the inaugural Snowmobile Next Trick competition, LaVallee attempted to pull off the first double back flip on a snowmobile. The Polaris rider managed both rotations with no trouble, but he landed hard and was thrown off his sled, disqualifying him from the competition.
Dane Ferguson, who was the only rider to successfully complete his trick in the final, took home the gold.