The Blagger's Guide: Red Bull Rampage

If you can find a pub showing it, here's some material to bore others with!
Brandon Semenuk - Red Bull Rampage © Ian Hylands
By Ric McLaughlin

The Red Bull Rampage is one of the year's biggest extreme sports events and pits the world's best mountain bikers against one of it's most forboding landscapes. Here's all you need to know...

1 Meeting of worlds

The Rampage is a freeride event with points being awarded by a pannel of judges. That said, the startlist isn't simply made up of baggy jerseyed freeriders. A selection of the sport's fastest World Cup stars will be present too including Brendan Fairclough and the newly-crowned overall champion, Stevie Smith. There are no prizes for fastest guy down the hill of course but the racers bring incredible technical skills and vision to diversify things. 

2 The course

Based near Virgin, Utah, Rampage has a start hut and a finishing line but how you get there is largely up to you. Riders can bring their mates and spend a few days digging in their own show-stopping lines whilst also making use of several man-made features such as the monstrous Oakley Icon Sender.

3 Crashes

Having read the following two points, you've probably deduced that crashes aren't just to be expected but are huge when they happen. Ulsterman, Ben Reid, basically folded himself in half one year whilst Cam Zink had probably the biggest crash yet captured on action camera at last year's event... Miracuously he hobbled away with nothing more than a bruised heal.

© Christian Pondella/Red Bull Content Pool

4 Controversy

As with any judged competition, there can be controversy regarding the Red Bull Rampage results. There's usually one person who goes that little bit more nuts than everyone else and walks away the clear winner (Kurt Sorge, we're looking at you) but it's further down the field that tends to ignite the comment boxes. The judges have four parametres; Fluidity and style, air and amplitude, tricks and line choice to consider. Last year it was the McCaul brothers and Kyle Norbraten who came out the most aggrieved.

5 Why is Rampage important?

Quite simply it's because there are no limits. It sounds cliched but if you want to build a ridiculous gap jump across a canyon with a flat landing (Brendan...) then you can. It isn't a prescribed race track or slopestyle course. Darren Berrecloth has ridden some of the most famous lines of recent years without using a single man-made obstacle in fact. It may be a 'freeride' event but in actual fact it's wider than that - it's one of the purest mountain biking events of the year.

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