Rampage returns! - Bike Magic

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Rampage returns!

Red Bull Rampage was one of the most famous freeride competitions in the world. In fact, it pretty much defined the genre when first held in 2001, and launched the careers of numerous riders including Darren Berrecloth and Tyler Klassen. There were four Rampages, but 2004 was the last. Until now – for Red Bull Rampage is returning to Virgin, Utah on 2-5 October 2008. And we’ll be bringing you all the action thanks to our man on the ground Dan Barham – it’d be a shame to waste all that Interbike desert acclimatisation, after all.

Red Bull Rampage: The Evolution will be held on a network of ridges near Zion National Park. Riders will have free reign to navigate their descent between a designated starting area and a finish line more than 1,000 vertical feet below. Thursday and Friday are open practice days for the riders, allowing them to scout lines, size up the thirty-plus foot gaps and cliff drops, and practice tricks. On Saturday, each of the 28 invited riders will take two runs, with their best single-run scores determinin the top 14 who will advance to Sunday’s final. The 14 finalists will run two more descents on Sunday, with their best score determining the overall winner. There’s a $25,000 prize purse up for grabs, so you can bet that the riders won’t be taking any safe bets.

If you happen to be in the area, you can spectate too, although the organisers are keen to point out that, “this event is not for casual observers. The new Red Bull Rampage venue was chosen for its ability to challenge the riders and push their limits, so it is remote, hot, dangerous, and unforgiving.” For a start, the car park is four miles from the venue, which you’ll have to hike or pedal. The organisers recommend bringing water, snacks, sunscreen, extra clothing, basic first-aid gear, and a torch…

So who’ll be riding? The confirmed list is as follows:

  • Graham Aggasiz (CAN)
  • Dan Atherton (GBR)
  • Gee Atherton (GBR)
  • Paul Basagoitia (USA)
  • Darren Berrecloth (CAN)
  • Robbie Bourdon (CAN)
  • Garret Buehler (CAN)
  • James Doerfling (CAN)
  • Cedric Gracia (FRA)
  • Geoff Gulevich (CAN)
  • Trond Hansen (NOR)
  • Mike Hopkins (CAN)
  • Matt Hunter (CAN)
  • Mike Kinrade (CAN)
  • Cam McCaul (USA)
  • Kelly McGarry (NZL)
  • Alex Prochazka (CAN)
  • Steve Romaniuk (CAN)
  • Brandon Semenuk (CAN)
  • Kurt Sorge (CAN)
  • Kyle Strait (USA)
  • Andrew Taylor (USA)
  • Guido Tschugg (GER)
  • Thomas Vanderham (CAN)
  • Chris Van Dine (USA)
  • Cameron Zink (USA)

Some new names and some old ones – Cedric Gracia and Kyle Strait are both former Rampage winners. Canadian riders dominate the field numerically, with the British flag being flown by the brothers Atherton. We ran into Gee Atherton at Interbike, and he admitted to being “a little nervous” about Rampage. It’s been away for a long time, after all.

Find out more at www.redbullrampage.com. And of course mark October 2-5 in your diaries, and tune in for Dan’s reports…


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