Known and feared by many, the Red Bull Rampage is renowned as one of the gnarliest big-mountain Freeride competitions to date. A group of the most talented, hand selected international competitors individually choose their most creative and daring line down the steep cliffs of Virgin, Utah in an effort to come up with the most impressive, unique and stylish way to the bottom. From massive gaps, narrow ridgelines and huge step-downs it can become an accomplishment just to make it down alive and in one piece. No competitor has ever won twice due to the danger and progression of the sport, until now.
Early in the week, dig teams and riders arrived into the desert of Utah with much anxiety and tension for the upcoming weekend. Since the first ever Rampage, the competition site has had an energy and aura about it that is near indescribable. The raw, natural and intimidating cliffs become an open canvas for these riders to paint their masterpiece on. With do-or-die lines and the utmost desire to walk away with the crown, the energy amongst the competitors is electrifying and intense throughout the week as the final runs rapidly approach.
While 13 riders are pre-qualified for Sunday’s finals, there are 14 other riders who are willing to risk it all to earn their prestigious spot amongst the world’s best and most talented riders in the world for a spot in the Finals the following day. Graham Agassiz (Kona) would take top honours in qualifying, riding one of the most confident, controlled and action packed runs of the weekend, boasting heel clickers and back flips where most struggle just to ride down.
On Sunday morning, both spectators and riders alike, woke up to clear skies and knotted stomachs, as everyone at the venue knew the risk that it would take to walk away with the win. As the tension and intensity grew when it came time for the first rider to roll in, so did the wind conditions high atop the ridgelines. One by one, riders started pushing it bigger and bolder down the mountain as the heavy hitters started to line up. 2008 Rampage Champion, Brandon Semenuk (TREK / RedBull) crashed early in his first run making a small mistake that would eventually cost him everything.
2004 Champion Kyle Strait (GT Bicycles) raised the bar exponentially linking together a solid and stylish run dropping the Oakley Icon sender with a clean suicide no-hander moving him into the well deserved lead. 2010 Champion Cameron Zink (Hyper / Monster Energy) stated his intention to back-flip the Oakley Icon sender, building a larger take off early in the week making the already massive drop that much more impressive. As the wind increased he rolled out of the start gate 100% committed to inevitably flip and stick the landing of this 60 foot plus step-down, unarguably the largest backflip step down ever executed on a bike. However, due to his extreme excitement and relief of completing the flip he missed his next line and could not link together the bottom section of his run as planned putting him into second behind Kyle.
Sitting in the lead, Kyle sat as riders started to take their second runs, but as the wind increased to dangerous levels the event was put on hold. Nearly two hours went by before the riders and organizers were forced to call off the second runs, which meant the first run scores would determine the results. Leaving Kyle with a well-deserved second career victory, a first in the history of the Red Bull Rampage since its inception. Cameron Zink would take a 3rd place on the podium and a undisputed win for best trick.
1st – Kyle Strait – SRAM BlackBox X0 DH, RockShox BlackBox BoXXer, Avid CODE brakes, TRUVATIV Bar/Stem
3rd – Cameron Zink – SRAM BlackBox X0 DH, RockShox BlackBox BoXXer, Avid CODE brakes, TRUVATIV Bar/Stem