As the biggest freeride event in mountain biking, Red Bull Rampage has produced many of the sport's biggest moments. Here's a rundown just a few of the most massive moments that have turned heads since the one-of-a-kind event's inception in 2001.
Kelly McGarry: Final Run, 2013
It may have more to do with his jaw-dropping, 72-foot canyon gap backflip than the full run, but Kelly McGarry garnered the most attention of any Rampage moment when the footage went viral. It’s deserved, too -- that gap had been on the course for years, but the Kiwi was the first to step up and flip it.
Even non-endemic media like 'Business Insider,' 'Deadspin' and gossip sites like Inquisitir.com had to capitalize on the truly tempting link bait, ensuring that all non-bike riders continue to namedrop McGarry while asking, “Who’s Kyle Strait?”
Cam Zink: 360 Drop off Icon Sender, 2010
Not only was Cam Zink’s massive 360 off the original Oakley Sender voted the “best Rampage moment ever” by his fellow riders, but it continues to stand as one of the burliest drops in mountain bike history.
While it didn’t create much of a stir outside of the sport -- probably due to lack of good footage available quickly -- it’s arguably more difficult than Zink’s much more famous Oakley Sender backflip step-down from 2013. Either way, It’s in the annals of freeride history and isn’t going anywhere.
Cam Zink: Canyon Gap Bail, 2012
The Canyon Gap has claimed many a victim, but never in quite the same spectacular fashion as Cam Zink in 2012. “Oh, oh, oh my god, oh my god!” Zink yells from the sky before coming down hard on both feet and crumpling into a sickening mass at the bottom of the transition.
I was scared for my life... I guess I'm doin’ okay if this 80-foot bail-to-flat only bruised my heels
It’s the kind of crash [see it above at the 1:05 mark of "Red Bull Rampage 2012: Relive the Worst Crashes"] that makes you cringe even after you’ve seen it multiple times, which is probably why 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' and 'Tosh.0' took to it, showing their television audiences just how punishing coming up short can be.
The clip ran on TV and all over the web, sometimes with hilariously misguided titles like “Helmet cam catches BMX star's wild wipeout on Utah canyon jump.”
"I was scared for my life and can't believe my legs and knees are intact," Zink commented about the incident. "With five knee surgeries, two broken feet and having a rod in my tibia prior to this crash I guess I'm doin’ okay if this 80-foot bail-to-flat only bruised my heels."
Cam Zink: Backflip off Icon Sender, 2013
With a baby on the way and the world watching, Cam Zink called his shot -- to land the biggest backflip in mountain bike history -- as soon as he saw the 2013 Oakley Sender. For the week leading up to the event, the whispers grew to murmurs and then to shouts. Would he do it? Would he land it? The answer to both questions was ‘yes.’
Not only did he land it, but he crushed it with trademark smooth style and cruised to a third-place finish despite not riding anything of significance on the lower half of his run. With over a million views on YouTube, it might be the single most notable trick in mountain bike history.
Geoff Gulevich: Final Run, 2013
“He went all terrain. He went airborne. And he went viral,” says the cheesy Fox News anchor in his segue to interviewing Rampage competitor Geoff Gulevich. To his credit, the smiling news anchor seemed genuinely interested as he spoke to Gulevich of his crashes the day before, the difficulty of riding Rampage, and Gully’s lackluster finish -- check out the video posted by Gully.
A smiling Gully recounts it all with grace and humor, knowing each click of a mouse drops another penny into his Google Ads account. There are more ways to make money than standing on the podium -- pros who go viral know this.
Want to see Rampage’s next viral moment? Watch the live webcast on September 28 at 12:30 p.m. MT and find all the event details and more at redbull.com/rampage.