Red Bull Rampage has built up a reputation as the Super Bowl of the extreme sports world with the best mountain bike stars just happy to get down the course safely as the 2021 edition launches this Friday on the ochre-colored cliffs of Virgin, Utah, USA. Here is all you need to know:
The only worldwide event that comes close to Red Bull Rampage is winter’s daunting Natural Selection Tour that sees backcountry freestyle snowboarders take on nature’s biggest lines, with the most extreme and intense mountain bike test thrilling fans since 2001 – the 2021 event this week, its 15th edition as well as the 20th anniversary.
Unlike the traditional mountain bike slopestyle course of wooden ramps and smooth terrain, Red Bull Rampage is more of a freeride event that takes place on loose ground that offers hardly any grip with riders using robust downhill bikes boasting a lot of suspension and large tires.
Riders and their small dig team can craft the natural terrain for their lines within the marked area over the first four days with shovels, picks and 75 sandbags before a rest day and then a further four days to practice.
The riders have two runs of three minutes each to impress the judges with riders scored throughout on difficulty level of the line, tricks and style, fluid and control and finally altitude over the breathtaking cliffs, dizzying exposure and almost vertical gullies that connect the lines.
Flash flooding hampered the riders and their dig teams last week with the wind often making the event even more hazardous on race day as they carefully pick their routes down the exposed, meandering mountain.
Red Bull Rampage has conjured up some classic moments over the years such as Kyle Strait‘s 2004 no hander trick, Cam Zink‘s 360 trick in 2010 and Antoine Bizet‘s first double backflip during the 2016 edition.
Two years ago, 21 riders saddled up at the top of the steep and rugged mountain slope with Canadian Brandon Semenuk collecting his third Rampage title from compatriots Brett Rheeder and Tom van Steenbergen.
A stacked field of 15 has returned to compete with the best 10 from 2019 joined by five wildcards selected by a committee of former Rampage participants, professional athletes, judges and experts.
Semenuk, fellow three-time champion Kurt Sorge, two-time winner Strait and former winners Zink and Andreu Lacondeguy line up with Canadian Van Steenbergen and Poland‘s Szymon Godziek also out to excite.
2021 Red Bull Rampage riders
Szymon Godziek (POL)
Tyler McCaul (USA)
Ethan Nell (USA)
Brandon Semenuk (CAN)
Carson Storch (USA)
Kyle Strait (USA)
Vincent Tupin (FRA)
Tom van Steenbergen (CAN)
Andreu Lacondeguy (ES-CT)
Jaxson Riddle (USA)
Kurt Sorge (CAN)
Brage Vestavik (NOR)
Cam Zink (USA)
Thomas Genon (BEL)
Reed Boggs (USA)
Watch Red Bull Rampage on Red Bull TV this Friday HERE.