VIRGIN, Utah (October 22, 2019) – From its inception in 2001, Red Bull Rampage has always been about pushing the boundaries of what’s possible on two wheels. Nearly two decades on, that premise has not changed and, in the build-up to this year’s Rampage on October 25 in Virgin, Utah here’s all you need to know about the annual mountain bike spectacular.
– The event is open to just 21 riders from all around the world, all of whom have to be invited to qualify or take part in the competition. Each rider gets two runs each using whatever tricks they see fit. They are judged by a panel of their peers and the highest score wins.
– The course is effectively made by the riders. A designated start and finish line is marked out by organisers, and the competitors have four days and the use of two shovel-wielders each – but no power tools – to create a stunning and challenging course in between the two points.
– The course has a vertical drop of 237 metres (780 feet) with often strong winds to contend with and no tree line to block out the elements.
– Last year, the event was won by Canadian Brett Rheeder, who produced a flawless run down the course near Zion National Park, where it relocated to last year.
– The first event back in 2001 – set up off the back of the rise in freeriding – was won by another Canadian and freeride pioneer in Wade Simmons.
– There are a host of previous winners taking part this year among them Rheeder, countryman and three-time winner Kurt Sorge, Kyle Strait from the United States, and Spaniard Andreu Lacondeguy.
– Strait still holds the record as the event’s youngest ever winner, taking the top prize all the way back in 2004 as a 17-year-old. He even competed in the inaugural event in 2001 and became Rampage’s first multiple winner in 2013.
– In all, 10 riders were pre-selected by organisers with another eight awarded subsequent wildcards and three men: Reed Boggs, Juan Salido and DJ Brandt making up the numbers via a new-for-2019 athlete qualifier back in September.
– The full line-up is: Kurt Sorge (CAN), Cameron Zink (USA), Ethan Nell (USA), Brandon Semenuk (CAN), Brett Rheeder (CAN), Thomas Genon (BEL), Carson Storch (USA), Kyle Strait (USA), Tyler McCaul (USA), Tom van Steenbergen (CAN), Bienvenido Aguado Alba (ESP), Andreu Lacondeguy (ESP), Brendan Fairclough (GBR), DJ Brandt (USA), Graham Agassiz (CAN), Reece Wallace (CAN), Emil Johansson (SWE), Reed Boggs (USA), Juan Diego Salido (MEX), Szymon Godziek (POL), Vincent Tupin (FRA).
– UCI World Cup Downhill racer Gee Atherton and Antoine Bizet were among the invited wildcard entries but both sustained injuries in recent weeks.
– Canada has been the dominant force at Rampage, winning eight of the 13 instalments including the last four.
You can watch Red Bull Rampage live on Red Bull TV.