As mountain bikers we all no the risk witihin the sport, but what happens with an event like Rampage which involves huge 50+ft drops and jumps over Canyons?
At Rampage 2015 three riders got to experience the downfalls of crashing at Rampage. Nicholi Rogatkin was the first rider to experience a big crash over qualifying and finals days. Nicholi's crash has become very famous not just throughout the mountain bike community but with the general public as well, featuring on many news programmes and even Good Morning America.
If you haven't seen Nicholi's crash, go watch it on youtube. It's amazing to see a guy fall off a cliff, continue to fall for 40+feet, land on his head then get back up and finish his run with a backflip. Tyler McCaul crashed after the Qualifying runs, practicing his lines. there's not much info around regarding this crash but there were rumours going around at the time that he had broken his back but i believe his injury wasn't that bad and was only taken to hospital as a precaution.
Finals day was the day of one of the biggest crashes in Rampage history, Paul Basagoitia was airlifted of the site after a crash off the biggest left him not being able to feel below his knees, this was caused by a broken T12 vertebrae. We wish Paul all the best in his recovery.
Rampage is known for its big drops, big jumps, big cliffs and big tricks so is it worth it to the riders when those all come together and form a big crash? There's a big debate going on at the moment around whether the athletes should be compensated for turning up to the events and riding. Most riders are there for over a week so they all have to pay for transport, accommodation, food and more but where does that money come from? Some of it would come from sponsors but most of it comes from the riders' own pockets. Prizemoney only gets paid out to the top 5 with lower placed athletes getting nothing, so most of the riders don't get a cent.
Is it really worth it for the riders to throw their bodies around and risk career or even life threatening injuries, for little to no reward? I don't think it is, and I believe the riders should all be paid fairly for their efforts. If the riders are there for our voyeuristic pleasure, the risks shouldn't outweigh the rewards.
Spectators lined the cliff face to get the best seats in the house.
Big drops, big tricks and big crashes are the name of the Rampage game, with all riders doing at least two of those things.
James Doerfling no-handers the YT gap.
The contest judges were perched on top of one of the many drops, this gave them a good view of all the tracks and riders.
Sam Reynolds Supermans the RZR gap.
Louis Reboul, on the last step-up during qualifying.
Anotine Bizet, pushes his shick to the limit.
Nic Prescetto getting some sideways action.
Bas Van Steenbergen.
Riders were allowed to bring in a small team to help build their tracks and jumps, and most had a varied skillset from scoping lines to using the tools.
A crowd of over 2500 people showed up to Finals.
Conor McFarlane backflipping the RZR jump.
New Zealand's Conor Macfarlane, competed for the first time at Red Bull Rampage but didn't make it through the qualifying round into finals.
Nico Zink gets helped off the hill after breaking his ankle.
Remy Metallier scopes a line for his Finals run.
Darren Berrecloth gets papped.
Riders had to deal with soft dirt which was good if they crashed as it didn't hurt as much, but it was easy to wash-out on.
Ryan Howard, eyeing up his landing spot.
Sam Reynolds, backflip over the Canyon Gap.
When I got told to watch out for vicious mountain animals that could potentially kill you I never realised they would be this cute.
Tom van Steenbergen showing the style that helped him get the nickname Steezburger.
The Utah dirt was soft and managed to get in a lot of things but there was also a layer which was like glass, and very hard to break.
Thomas Genon showing the crowd why he won the FMB World Series.
Ryan Howard impresses the big crowd.
Brendon Fairclough shows the crowd why he's known for his huge whips and loose riding style.
Nelson's Kelly McGarry, doing the trick that made him a Rampage legend two years ago, the backflip. This time not over the 73 foot canyon though.
Mitch Chubey clears the Red Bull Canyon Gap.
The RZR gap was the gap that most riders did their biggest tricks on including an attempted double backflip.
Even the lizards were trying to be part of the action.
Logan Bingelli, soaring above the south Utah hills.
Thomas Genon attempting a suicde backflip on the RZR gap.
Kurt Sorge on his winning run. Kurt was awarded the highest ever Rampage score.