Rampage Athletes Pick Their Favorite Riders

The riders of Red Bull Rampage 2013 give credit where credit is due: to their peers.
Mountain biker Tom Van Steenbergen flies over a gap at Red Bull Rampage 2013.
Tom Van Steenbergen sails over a Rampage 2013 gap © Ian Hylands/Red Bull Content Pool
By Mike Berard

Red Bull Rampage may be the greatest prize in all of big-mountain riding, but it’s not all about winning. The support and respect the riders give each other is an important part of the vibe out there.

While on the hill, there is never a shortage of positivity or compliments being thrown around between the athletes who brave the vastness of Utah's terrain together. So we asked:

What rider were you most stoked on at Red Bull Rampage 2013?

“Graham Agassiz and Cam Zink. Zink pulled through as the consummate professional he is and overcame setbacks to stomp the biggest, scariest backflip ever done in the sport. It was an awesome display of mind over matter. Aggy impressed me with his aggressive approach to the course and stylish tricks with top-to-bottom flow. Most riders struggle at Rampage, but Aggy was really close to pulling a win!” –Chris Van Dine

Andreu Lacondeguy because he had the best combination of flow, style and tricks.” –Nico Vink

“I was most psyched on Cam Zink because before the event had even started everyone knew what he was going to do. Not 'planning to do,' but 'going to do.' On top of all that, his baby was due pretty much anytime. I remember saying to him as he got to the top before our second runs were planned to start, 'Dude, what are you doing here? You did it…now go have your baby.' He says, 'Fuck buddy, I want to win.' That guy is an animal!” –Graham Agassiz

Tyler McCaul is growing into the best big-mountain rider in the world by doing his own thing.” –Cam Zink

“At Rampage I was most psyched on Makken 'Mads' Haugen even though he missed a spot in the finals. He was at the top jumping with excitement to drop in -- he was so stoked to ride.” –Brendan Howey

“Cam Zink always seems to push his limits. And since his limits are way higher than a lot of other riders, he really stands out. He’s such a gnarly dude.” –Tom Van Steenbergen (top photo)

Graham Agassiz and his team were, hands down, the hardest-working people out there. Not only did Aggy have to build a line that was capable of winning finals, but he had to prepare a run for qualies, too, which he ended up winning by a long shot. In my mind, if Aggy had completed his finals runs the way he wanted, he would've won that by a long shot too.

"Aggy's runs reminded me of big-mountain ski/snowboarding. He was on another level that weekend. Not to mention, I showed up on finals day before sunrise thinking I was the first one there, but then I looked up on the hill and saw headlamps and heard the sounds of a build team chipping away at a rock. Turns out it was Aggy's team; they were building through the night to put the finishing touches on his line for him. Big ups to them, as well! Aggy rules.” –Tyler McCaul

“Tom Van Steenbergen (in top photo) was who I was most psyched on in Utah. I was so impressed every time I watched him ride his bike. He didn't just test a line once, he sessioned and tricked the lines. And he was the man to guinea-pig the canyon gap this year. He's so talented and I was really hoping for him to make finals because I knew he was capable of some huge moves, but a couple bobbles in qualies left him a bit short. Even after qualies were over he continued to shred and blast tricks. He’s solid on a bike and I can't wait to see him ride Rampage next year.” –Kyle Norbraten

“I think I was most impressed with Andreu Lacondeguy for his line and, of course, Cam Zink for his flip drop.” –Thomas Genon

“So many riders that stepped up their game. Tyler McCaul, Graham Agassiz and, of course, Cam Zink were so awesome to watch shred the mountain a new one. It would be really hard to pick one, but TMac's line stood out to me. It had, by far, one of the biggest natural hits with tons of flow and high-speed sections.” –Kyle Strait

“Everyone killed it, but I would probably say Aggy impressed me the most. His finals line was off-the-chain. The fact that his guys were still working on the top section on the morning of finals and that he rode some of his line for the first time in his run made it even more badass. His run had some mad steez and was very Rampage-ish, yeeeow!” –Kelly McGarry

Be sure to catch the full recap show during the Red Bull Signature Series broadcast on NBC on December 21 at 3:30 p.m. ET (in the USA), and check out the rest of our coverage on the official Red Bull Rampage site.

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