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MUNICH -- In the first race of a double dose of RallyCross at X Games Munich, Liam Doran took home the gold medal on Saturday despite running half the race on a rear flat tire.
"I don't know what to say really. I had a puncture for half the race and I thought I was going to be last -- I thought they were going to hit me -- but all I kept hearing on the radio was 'You've got a good gap, keep on going, you've got to punch it, just keep on pushing.' I might not seem that excited but it hasn't sunk in," Doran said.
The Saturday race was a makeup for the event in X Games Barcelona that was rained out. That didn't mean that weather wasn't a factor this time. Rain fell throughout the event leading to a slippery course, but cars were able to run because the course featured more concrete and less mud.
Doran became the first two-time RallyCross gold medalist at X Games -- having also won in 2011 -- but it wasn't easy. He had to hold off a hard-charging Ken Block for the final lap, sliding wide in the turns on three tires.
"In these conditions it isn't as bad as you'd think," Doran said of driving with the flat. "It wasn't that bad. It could have been a lot easier with four wheels."
The victory was a first for the new Mini car, and Doran said he's looking for a full ride with the manufacturer.
"We're just pushing as hard as we can to get a full Mini deal for next year and try to make a big team to go around the world," Doran said. "I don't know how to do a better job than coming and winning gold in front of the headquarters of Mini."
Block, who has never won X Games gold, won his third silver medal and benefited from a restart after three laps. He had been well back of the leaders when the first attempt at the final was red-flagged. He was running third for most of the race before he passed Toomas Heikkinen -- who settled for bronze -- on the seventh of eight laps and closed in on Doran.
"I just drove really clean in that second restart and just tried to make up as much time on those guys as I could," Block said. "My spotter had told me that Liam had a flat and I just started gaining on both Liam and Topi pretty fast. So I knew the quicker I could get around Topi the quicker I could get on Liam and unfortunately it just happened all too late."
RallyCross returns Sunday with the regularly scheduled Munich event.
Five riders posted scores in the 40s, but Daniel Dhers had the high score of the day and hung on for a gold medal in BMX Park.
Asked what he had to give to separate himself from a talented field, he said: "Everything I had."
|Daniel Dhers had enough to hold off a strong field in BMX Park on Saturday.|
"I kept trying to add little variations on each run because I could tell it was going to take a lot to win this," he added.
Dhers finished with a two-best-run total of 84, with a 44 on his best run. Scotty Cranmer posted an 82 for silver, while Daniel Sandoval won the tiebreaker with Pat Casey for bronze after both finished at 78.
The 28-year-old Dhers from Venezuela won his fifth Park gold medal.
Drew Bezanson and Gary Young suffered injuries on falls and bowed out during the finals, meaning the remaining riders dropped in time after time. After the win an exhausted sounding Dhers said:
"I saw Scotty riding amazing, I see Sandoval killing it ... I was like, 'I don't know how many tricks I can fit in this run, but I'm going to take nothing and give everything.' It feels amazing. Seriously."
Dhers formerly dominated X Games when the BMX Park course featured more traditional setups such as spine ramps and wooden box jumps, winning gold at X Games Los Angeles in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011. But he has struggled in the faster and tighter modern skatepark-inspired concrete courses introduced in the last few years.
This is Dhers' first podium appearance of 2013 in X Games. He managed to find his line in the big bowls and Bavarian-themed course features in Munich, boosting huge tricks like a corked no-handed 720 to post the biggest score of the day in his first of four runs in the 18-minute final jam session.
Cranmer found a way to incorporate the house feature into his run.
"It wasn't easy, I mean that thing is 10 feet in the air and the coping is another 9 feet off the ground, and there's not much tranny to soften the landing when you drop in from that high," he said. "I was just glad to land my run and to walk away with a silver medal is just the cherry on top."
Sandoval dropped in last and needed a score of 44 or higher to edge Dhers for the gold. He took a casual and anti-climactic 40-second lap through the course to run out the clock, leaving Dhers on top and Cranmer in silver medal position.
Gary Young crashed and suffered a wrist fracture during the final, X Games said in a statement. He will require surgery but not immediately.
Rain in Munich took a toll on the schedule of events Saturday. Despite efforts to clear the Skateboard Big Air ramp of water, the event was postponed until Sunday as rain continued Saturday. The event was rescheduled for 12:30 p.m. ET.
Men's and Women's Enduro X and Moto X Freestyle were also pushed back until Sunday.
Information from XGames.com's Colin Bane was used in this report.