Red Bull Rampage

The showdown in the desert came back for a second consecutive year.

gate

Mike Hopkins sizing up the drop at the starting gate

Red Bull Rampage, the Freestyle Mountain Biking World Tours premier event, went off on Oct. 11-13 in the remote desert outside of Virgin, Utah. Rampage is a diamond level slopestyle event. The riders navigate a mixture of natural terrain and engineered obstacles, ranging in size from two foot kickers to a 72 foot canyon gap.

bwflip

Kelly McGarry throwing a backflip over the 72 foot canyon gap

Describing the Rampage course, veteran rider Andreu Lacondeguy says it, “is a mountain, you have to pick out a line and shred it.” Many riders equate slopestyle mountain biking to snowboarding on fresh powder. But the only powder that you will find in Virgin is the fine orange dust that blankets the moon-like landscape. Lacondeguy went on to explain that Rampage is “the only real, freestyle event,”

andreau&grham

Andreu Lacondeguy and Graham Agassiz speed checking the Oakley Icon Sender

The event originated in 2001 and has had a history as rocky as its terrain. Rampage took a hiatus after the 2004 season due to the inherent dangers presented by the sport. Returning in 2008 the FMB competition has been a biennial event on the FMB World Tour, usually capping off the season. This years event is unique in that it is the first time that Rampage has occurred in consecutive years.

Rampage

Mike Hopkins dropping onto the course

The FMB World Tour title had already been claimed by Sam Pilgrim, the first European rider to take the cup. The riders didn’t see this as turning down the stoke level on this seasons Finally. Riders compete just as hard to place in categories such as Best Trick and Viewers Choice. “The danger element is what has built Rampage into the prestigious event that it is.” Explained Gee Atherton, who was one of 27 riders invited to earn a spot in the Finals. The Finals will be broadcast as a part of the Red Bull Signature Series. Red Bull Rampage will air in it’s entirety on NBC at 2:30 p.m. EST Dec. 21, 2013.

B&Wnohands

Thomas Genon with a huge no hand jump

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2 responses to “Red Bull Rampage

    • From what I gathered, a lot of the guys started in either BMX, skiing/snowboarding, or MTB. They learn to pull tricks on smaller bikes and then modify it, in order to throw it on the big downhill bikes (30-40 lbs with 8 inches of travel on the fork and rear suspension). But Virgin’s landscape is unique and presents it’s own set of challenges.

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