Tom Pagès, who was the surprise star of the 2012 season and in the battle for the World Tour title right up to the finals, came to the competitive scene in 2007 as a new upcoming youngster with a mindset and determination to take FMX to the next level. Within just a couple of years in the FMX circus, the talented Frenchman had worked his way from his own backyard up to fight against the best FMX riders in the world before he then vanished from the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour in 2009.
Pagès was the first rider ever to land a double grab flip to dirt and this is just one of many tricks he has in his box. The stylish rider has a rich arsenal of tricks, which made it very challenging for the other riders to beat him, but following the accidents of some of his close friends and injuries of his own, he decided to take a break from riding the big contests and instead focus more on freeriding and movie shooting.
Yet, the invitation to Red Bull X-Fighters in Glen Helen was quite an offer the Yamaha rider could not turn down. American fans saw a completely different Tom than the Frenchman they saw back in 2009 in Texas. Tom did not show any upside down tricks, but he brought the other tricks to a new level of stylishness. He rocked Glen Helen with the "Volt" and a few other tricks only a handful of the best riders can perform nowadays.
His second place in Glen Helen 2012, his fantastic performance in Madrid, his victory in Germany, and the closest finale ever in Sydney proved that it's possible to win without a backflip if you shine with other extraordinary tricks like "Special Flip", "Volt", and "Flair". Let´s see what the crowd-favourite developed over the off-season training with his brother Charles, who was finally back on the bike after a long rehab period. Experts say Tom will train upside-down tricks to be ready to pull them, in case he needs them in a tough battle. The battle between the current champion Levi Sherwood and Pagès did not end in Sydney. The event just brought it to the next level of a new era.
At the kick-off in Mexico in 2013, Pagès clearly demonstrated that he would be the man to beat on the tour. His outstanding innovative performances with 540° combos and even backflips ensured that he never missed a podium on an event he competed in. His first ever victory in the bullring of Las Ventas was a dream come true for the Frenchman, as he not only won the most prestigious FMX event, he also got crowned 2013 Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour Champion. With the title under the sleeve, the new season started quite different for him, as he was now the hunted one instead of a hunter. Feeling that pressure and an unlucky situation was enough to miss the podium instead of being on top like the year before. Moving on to Japan, it did not start to roll any better for Tom. In 2014, the Osaka track was not in his favor and he played it safe instead of risking it all and he flew home with the worst result since 2009. The 9th place wasn´t the spot the Frenchman usually operates in. In Las Ventas, the crowd gave Tom the welcome of a true champion. Having the most educated FMX fans on the planet behind him, Pagès unleashed the Bikeflip for the first time in the sports history and fired his usual arsenal of tricks into the packed bullring of Madrid.
The final against Josh Sheehan was a unique experience for all and went down as the toughest FMX battle in the history of the sport. With another Madrid victory in the pocket, the Frenchman tried to bring his new Bikeflip to Munich´s waterborne track but failed and ended up 5th. The final stop in South Africa didn't work out any better for the Yamaha rider and adding another 45 points summed up to an overall 4th in the final tour ranking. In case Pagès is able to extend his bag of tricks again in the off-season, his opponents will have to fear him even more in 2015, when he is on the hunt for a 2nd title.
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