Tom Pagès joined 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 worked his way up from his own backyard to join the fight against the best FMX riders in the world, before vanishing from the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour in 2009.
Pagès was the first rider to land a double grab flip to dirt and the stylish rider has a rich arsenal of tricks, making it very challenging for other riders to beat him. Following the accidents of some of his close friends and injuries of his own, Tom decided to take a break from riding big contests and instead focus more on freeriding and movie shooting.
The invitation to Red Bull X-Fighters in Glen Helen in 2012 was quite an offer, and one the Yamaha rider couldn't resist. American fans saw a completely different Tom than the one they saw back in 2009 in Texas. Tom didn't perform any inverted tricks, but he brought his other tricks to a new level of stylishness. He rocked Glen Helen with the Volt and a few other unique tricks only a handful of the best riders could perform.
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 the Special Flip, Volt, and the Flair. Those in the know say Tom will train upside-down tricks to be ready to pull them should they be required in a tough battle but he wanted to take FMX in a new direction. The battle between the reigning champion Levi Sherwood and Pagès didn't end in Sydney... it was just the birth of a new rivalry and the beginning of a new era of FMX! 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 at each 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 was also crowned 2013 Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour Champion.
With the title now up his sleeve, the 2014 season started quite differently for him: he became the hunted instead of being the hunter. Feeling that pressure and an unlucky situation was enough for him to miss the podium instead of being on top like the previous year. Moving on to Japan, it didn't roll any better for Tom. In 2014, the Osaka track wasn't to his liking and he played it safe instead of risking it all, flying home with his worst result since 2009. Ninth place wasn't the position the Frenchman is usually accustomed to. 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 sport's history accompanied with his usual arsenal of tricks. The final against Josh Sheehan was an amazing spectacle for all and went down as one of the toughest FMX battles in the history of the sport. With another Madrid victory in his pocket, the Frenchman tried to perform his new Bikeflip on Munich's waterborne track but failed - ending up 5th. The final stop in South Africa didn't work out any better for the Yamaha rider and adding just 45 points equated to an overall 4th in the overall World Tour ranking.
Third place at the season opener in Mexico in 2015 was a good result, but it was clear that others had done their homework and the fight for the championship would be tougher than ever. Pagès stepped up his game in Athens by performing a new Flair 540° trick, but the winner from Mexico (Clinton Moore) was once again on top and Tom had to settle with second place. Las Ventas is the event Tom works the hardest for and after victories in the previous editions, the Frenchman was eager to get the triple. Well, he impressed the world-famous crowd in Madrid once again with the best run the sport had seen so far. Pagès carried the momentum to the next stop in Pretoria and scored another victory, joining Clinton Moore at the top of the World Tour ranking. Once again, two top riders went into the final event with an all or nothing attitude. The battle between Pagès and Moore was tight until Tom had some bad luck, crashing in his run to give the championship to Moore.
As could be seen on social media, Pagès expanded his bag of tricks once again in the off-season and he went on to deliver the promise he made in 2015 to come back to Las Ventas with at least one new trick. The Frenchman didn't disappoint, nailing the Front-Flair and taking his fourth victory in a row. His opponents will have to lift their game even more at the only Red Bull X-Fighters event in 2017 if they want to prevent Tom from taking his fifth Madrid win in a row! Who knows what he has in the pocket this year?
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