Defending Freestyle champion Blake ‘Bilko’ Williams has been forced to withdraw from Moto X Best Trick and Freestyle for X Games 16 following an injury sustained in late June when he failed to land a cliffhanger backflip at the third round of the Red Bull X-Fighters in Moscow, Russia.
Despite an intensive rehabilitation programme which included surgery to repair his collarbone with a plate, the 25-year-old aggravated the injury on a practice run on Thursday.
“I was just cruising around and my bars got a slight bit of head shake, not even enough to make me go sideways, and that gave my arm a gentle tug. I felt a harsh tearing sound and grinding feeling followed by immediate weakness and pain,” Williams told ESPN FMX.
An MRI following the incident revealed Williams had torn his labium and ripped out one of the sutures used to repair the collarbone.
Despite Williams obvious disappointment he was glad that it happened during the warm up rather than during X Games.
“If I had hit a ramp, it would only be a matter of time before the strain of doing tricks would have finished it off and I could have very well been hanging off my bike when it did tear, with no chance of getting back on. That could have ended in more severe injuries.”
Although ruled out for this year, Williams is already looking forward to next year “I will be back next year to claim back what I believe is mine, another X games gold medal!”