This year’s edition of Red Bull Rampage was nothing short of spectacular. Building on top of last year's creations allowed riders to go bigger and better than ever before – with a level of finesse and style that awed all those watching. You may have already seen the top 3 winning runs, but there's a lot more to 2019's Red Bull Rampage than that – scroll down for some of the stand-out and bizarre moments of 2019...
- Andreu Lacondeguy has bike handling skills like no other
Andreu Lacondeguy's run
It was Andreu Lacondeguy's last chance of the day, after a crash on his trick-packed first run spoiled his efforts. The Spaniard reeled things back slightly on his second run, but landing off-line after a flip saw dust flying up from Lacondeguy as he battled to keep his bike straight. Incredibly, he managed to avoid going off the edge of the cliff, as the commentators described it "as a recovery of a lifetime" and "one of the most one-the edge run we've seen at Rampage."
- The People's Choice Award trophy is beyond cool
When Szymon Godziek was told he'd won the People's Choice Award he was visibly pleased – but when he was handed the metal sculpture he was in shock! "Woah... woah," he exclaimed before taking time to examine the intricacies of it. Winning the People's Choice Award is definitely something to be proud of and to top it off he now has one of the coolest trophies around to put on his mantelpiece.
- Three is the magic number
Brandon Semenuk on his big win
Brandon Semenuk approached the starting gate with one thing on his mind: redemption. After failing to finish his line at Red Bull Rampage 2018, Semenuk chose to ride the same line this year, threw down a monster first run, greasing a cork 360 on a rebuilt feature that he wasn’t able to land last year and scoring a sterling 92.33 as a result. In his eighth Red Bull Rampage appearance, the phenom from British Columbia's Squamish was left watching as the rest of the field fought to catch up to him for the remainder of the event. Ultimately, that never happened, allowing Semenuk the luxury of indulging in a victory lap to the delight of the roaring crowd.
“It’s hard to say,” Semenuk said when asked how this win compared to his prior wins. “Obviously, the last two wins were great too, but to take the third one, I’m speechless. I don’t know. It’s awesome.” Semenuk now joins Kurt Sorge as the most successful Red Bull Rampage competitor with each rider having three wins to their name.
- If you want to be a Rampage star be a Canadian
With Canadian riders dominating the Red Bull Rampage podium, taking first, second and third place, there's no denying that the country is pumping out pure big mountain talent. Brandon Semenuk grew up in the mecca of mountain biking, Whistler, British Columbia. Brett Rheeder hails from the opposite (and much flatter) side of Canada from Mount Albert, Ontario. With Tom van Steenbergen calling Kelowna, British Columbia home.
In the history of Red Bull Rampage Canadian riders have been in the top 3 for almost every event – with only the 2013 edition seeing no maple-leaf flags grace its podium. Legends in the sport and previous top 3 podium placers such as Wade Simmons, Kurt Sorge, Darren Berrecloth and Graham Agassiz all count Canada as home.
- There's no wrong time for a taco
When most riders finish their Red Bull Rampage run, there's usually a set pattern of hugging elated family members, taking a drink, signing fans autographs and having a post-race interview. Kyle Strait, two-time Red Bull Rampage champion, on the other hand, tucked straight into a taco! Not even pausing to remove his helmet, the Red Bull Rampage veteran was mid-chew as the post-race interview was under way. Where most mortals wouldn't make it down the course alive and those who did would likely be a sweating, hyperventilating mess, Strait secured a solid 83.33 score and then calmly had his lunch. Priorities.
- Freeride is family
The recent passing of mountain bike legend Jordie Lunn was fresh on the mind of competitors at Red Bull Rampage. The influential figure had impacted so many of the riders' lives and the biking community came together to pay tribute to their friend. Graham Agassiz was first to display his tribute and before the dust had settled on his first run he was on the floor doing a commemorative 30 push-ups.
But the biggest tribute of all had to go to Brendan Fairclough, who shocked the crowd when, on his second run, he stopped mid-way on top of his feature 'Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson' and jumped off his bike doing 30 push-ups. Instead of trying to better his score, the rider used his run to honour the memory of a friend.
What a moment! This is as beautiful a tribute to a brother that you could possibly do... it just embodies everything that is right about Red Bull Rampage
- Is that a tyre or an airbag?
When tyres blow, they usually leave your bike with a deflated mess. Carson Storch's tyre blew up, in the literal sense! After landing a 360 off a massive drop Carson's rear tyre decided it wanted some airtime of its own and blew up like a balloon animal. Luckily a nearby steward came at it with a knife and popped it, getting things back under control...
- Teaching an old (Bren)dog new tricks
Brendan Fairclough is a downhiller by trade, spending his summer on the UCI MTB World Cup circuit. Taking to the freeride arena the downhiller proved that he was not one to overlook. Flipping the huge 50ft canyon gap made the fans and commentators erupt and following it up with a back flip no-hander (that he decided to learn specifically for Red Bull Rampage) saw him gain his highest Red Bull Rampage score to date: 87.66.
- Emil Johansson puts in a rookie run for the history books
Emil Johansson's run
Twenty-year-old slopestyle star Emil Johansson won Red Bull Joyride 2019 and got a surprise last-minute invite to Red Bull Rampage after a rider pulled out with injury. With 72 hours notice from knowing he was invited to arriving in Utah, it's been a whirlwind of a journey for the young Swede.