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.
The 2015 season started in Mexico quite different than in the previous year, where he was able to win the season opener. The third place was still a very good result, but it was clear that others also had done their homework and the fight for the championship would be tougher than ever. Pagès was able to step up his game in Athens by showing a new trick, but the winner from Mexico was once again on top and Tom had to settle with the 2nd place even with a Flair 540° in his runs. Las Ventas is the spot Tom works the hardest for and after victories in the previous editions, the Frenchman was eager to get the triple and impress the fans once again with the best run the sport had seen so far. The Yamaha rider did not disappoint the world famous crowd in Madrid and left the arena as a true legend through the Grande Porta. Pagès was able to carry the momentum to the next stop in Pretoria and scored another victory, joining Clinton Moore in the top ranking. Once again, two top riders went into the world tour final with an all or nothing attitude and the battle between Pagès and Moore was tighter until Pagès got some bad luck and crashed in his run to give the championship to Moore. As it looks right now on social media, Pagès was able to extend his bag of tricks once again in the off-season and he is going to deliver the promise he made in 2015 to come back to Las Ventas with at least two new tricks. His opponents have to fear him even more for the only Red Bull X-Fighters event in 2016, which will be held in Las Ventas, where Tom is looking for his 4th victory in a row.
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