Twenty-one of the world’s greatest freeride mountain bikers gathered in the red rocks of Virgin, Utah near Zion National Park to create their own lines down near-vertical sandstone. The challenge gives the riders three days to build their lines and forbids the use of power tools. They receive four additional days to test their bike out on the untravelled terrain before the competition. No two lines are the same — and this year, there has been a new ridgeline added to the venue. Each rider is allowed a two-person build crew.
By invitation only, the best riders from freeride, downhill and freestyle all came out to compete for the coveted Redbull Rampage Crown including pre-qualified riders Brandon Semenuk, Kurt Sorge, and Kyle Strait who have taken home the gold in years prior. This year’s Red Bull Rampage took place on October 27.
Virgin, Utah is known for its stunning terrain, comprised of yawning sandstone cliffs and a bright red backsplash that serves as the ultimate mountain biking venue. It is easy to carve aesthetic lines out of the sloping plateaus and down steep rock faces. The Red Bull Rampage is renowned as one of the greatest combination tests of strength, daring, and skill in professional mountain biking. From 2001 to 2004, the competition was held off the Kolob Terrace Road near the western end of Zion National Park. After a three-year hiatus, the Rampage continued in 2008 at its current location. The event is judged similarly to freestyle skiing and snowboarding, where riders’ style, line development, technical skill, and trick density are evaluated.
Sorge won, putting on a performance that included a barrage of technical feats as well as his own variation to the new rider’s right ridge, building a double drop as opposed to the standard single drop. His highlight tricks included a no-handed flip and a suicide no-hander.
The People’s Choice Award went to Antoine Bizet, garnering 44 percent of the votes. The first-person footage of his performance is riveting to watch especially through a tricky double-flip sequence.
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