2013 Red Bull Rampage: THE DRAFT

Oct 13, 2013
by Danielle Baker  


PREPARING FOR BATTLE



And here we go...
  And here we go...

bigquotesIt doesn't take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle. - Norman Schwarzkopf


This morning was reminiscent of Apocalypse Now as we drove along the rutted and beat down dirt road that winds into the canyon, the filming heli rose up from behind the ridge and ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ rattled in the back of our minds. The basecamp was quiet as racer awaited news about whether or not they would be heading into battle this morning; winds threatened to ruin the show as decisions that balanced risk and investment were made.

Paul Bass.
  Paul Bass.


Red Bull athletes lounge loungers.
  Red Bull athletes lounge loungers.

The draft is complete; those who have not been carried off the mountain will compete. Yesterday waged a war with only personal victories and personal defeats. Throngs of spectators stood atop the cliffs and watched in awe as riders threw themselves down impossible steep and loose lines into the canyon on what seemed like endless kamikaze missions. As they dropped out of site behind ridges the crowd’s reaction across the canyon was all that indicated successes and failures. All of our hearts beat a little faster when riders did not reappear as expected and when spectators turned away or covered their eyes our hearts would sink collectively until we heard cheers to signify that the fallen were on their feet and dusting off. At times the pauses were long, the canyon was quiet, and medical teams charged in from every direction. With the chopper flying over top of the army tents providing shade for the riders, the scene often looked like the opening credits to MASH. The show must go on and riders continued to drop in as others were attended to.

These was Doerfling s foot prints when he ejected off the Oakley Icon Sender. They re a good three inches deep. That s what it looks like when you jump into hard dirt from forty-feet up.
  These were Doerfling's foot prints when he ejected off the Oakley Icon Sender. They're a good three inches deep. That's what it looks like when you jump into hard dirt from forty-feet up.

Sitting on top of the cliff, radios crackle in and out shouting about logistical challenges. With an event of this magnitude there is an integral frame work being run by a camouflage and Red Bull clad team ripping around on motos and ATVs, putting out fire after fire and occasionally landing themselves in the medical tent for exhaustion and dehydration. From the event team, to the builders, athletes and media, this entire production is run on hard work and passion, sunburns and war wounds.

The three injured amigos. Kenny Smith Kurt Sorge and Darren Berrecloth carting around the course today. What did you think they were just gonna sit in the Red Bull tent and let everyone else have all the fun
  The three injured amigos. Kenny Smith, Kurt Sorge, and Darren Berrecloth, carting around the course today. What, did you think they were just 'gonna sit in the Red Bull tent and let everyone else have all the fun?

With the preparation, the expectations, the pressure and the hope, when disappointment comes it can be harsh. Not making the qualifiers by one spot to missing your first Rampage ever due to injury, today holds an emotional place for those watching from the sidelines. From Tom Van Steenbergen who was practicing in the high winds this morning in preparation for being called to duty, should anyone back out he will fill the bottom slot in qualifiers, to Thomas Vanderham who will miss his first Rampage ever due to injury after a viscous cliff tumble during practice yesterday. There is a depth and soul to this show, beyond web casts and big air.

Aggy and Buehler getting ready to rumble.
  Aggy and Buehler, getting ready to rumble.

With the chopper circling overhead, we stand and wait in the pitted out canyon, holding our breath and waiting for all our boys to finish safely. The speakers, colorful spectators and marketing flags have transformed this once tranquil area to a true circus, but without the white Tigers. Gusts of wind kick dust off the ridges periodically like small explosions, not only threatening to ruin the show, but also compromise the safety of these riders. As Semenuk got hung up on his first run and hiked back to the start, the medical stood calmly by and under the direction of Brad Ewin’s booming voice the crowd cheered encouragement; we are all in this together. No matter how close the friendships are or are not, we all feel a responsibility to these athletes who are putting it all on the line for us. Risking life and limb, these men are the gladiators of our Rome.

Kinrade step up lower canyon zone.
  Kinrade, step up lower canyon zone.


bigquotesTruly the world has united here in the Zion desert for this special day. - Brad Ewin



104 Comments

  • + 99
 Mcgarry got robbed
  • + 12
 yeah man! my heart stopped when i saw it! looks like its gonna be a late night if this wind persists :L
  • + 17
 No ones been robbed , maybe a little short changing but generally it all seems fair to me so far , was worried the judges would over score zink like they did last time but it was more in keeping for a run based around one move.
  • + 8
 I hate the scoring too, but then I guess it's different to judge in front of TV compared to Bender who's right there, knows the place like back of his hand, and has probably more footage available...
  • + 6
 So Strait wins because the event can't be finished? Bullshit!
  • + 3
 Fucking wind man......
  • + 1
 wat the heck... ZINK goes up to 3rd???!!!!!

wat bout lacondeguy???????
  • - 10
flag RitzKrakerz13 (Oct 13, 2013 at 20:02) (Below Threshold)
 Bender probably doesn't know the place very well since it's a new site and he's half retarded anyway from hucking his carcass of off cliffs in the early days of rampage
  • + 3
 it was not robbed! he was amazing, but the line of strait the flow and style you should count them to, trust me it was real fair judging!! i liked mcgerry alot but strait nailed it.
  • + 2
 The only ones robbed, where the ones who didn't get to throw down a second run. I think Kelly was scored fair. Strait shouldn't have won. Other riders had better "Big Mountain" lines then him. Tmac and Andreu Should have scored higher.
  • + 2
 I agree with the judges on this one. Although maybe 3 backflips, two of which were unexpected and super gnarly, I think that strait deserved the win. His line was more technical and far harder, especially the suicide no handed off the Oakley sender (considering people got massive props for table topping the lower line). I think, as far as a freeride event, straits run was better, although mcgarrys was super fun to watch.
  • + 1
 Aggy got robbed
  • + 35
 The judges are retarded at every Rampage...
  • + 1
 Fuck yeah they are!
  • + 13
 Totally agree! Andreu's runs were absolutely amazing!! Also anyone know what the heck Cam ZINK is running on his D3 they look like peices of foam on the exterior of the helmet
  • + 8
 its more EPS pads, custom troy lee D3, kurt sorge "its like wearing 2 helmets"
  • - 2
 Andreu's runs had awesome style, but I think the other riders would've gotten points in the technicality of their lines...
  • + 6
 Aaron Chase is not a retard
  • + 1
 It is extra eps pads. They are a type if foam, but it protects the helmet more and therefore you head more. Good idea in my on pinion however I think it takes away the slick sharp lines that make a d3 a d3
  • + 6
 If I was a professional mountain biker hucking a backflip on a 75ft drop for the first time in contest in the wind I would probably take the extra protection and risk loosing the sleek look of my helmet, just sayin'.
  • + 1
 I don't deny that, I'm just saying for the regular downhill tracks a dirt jump courses, I wouldn't buy into it. I think it is custom for him though.
  • + 31
 MCGARRY CANYON FLIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • + 15
 Can't believe all the facebook comments on the Redbull page whining that they should "just go" or "start already" in the windy conditions. How about they get their asses to the top of that course in those windy conditions and "just go already". Bitches.
  • + 15
 Tyler McCaul finally got a good score
  • + 15
 Zink is the history!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • + 13
 Kelly's my new hero Smile
  • + 3
 I was hoping that he would do well this year. He killed it. If he would have thrown a 360 instead of one of the flips he likely would have won. Good show mate!
  • + 2
 Totally agree @chezotron. The flips were sick, but if he could have sneaked a indian air or 3 or something of that biggish step down after the canyon gap i reckon he would have nailed it.
  • + 13
 Brendan got robbed...
  • - 4
flag Rspanky (Oct 13, 2013 at 13:12) (Below Threshold)
 that backflip get me jizzd xD
  • + 0
 bacflip from zink not brendan
  • + 0
 No. He choked. Plain and simple.
  • + 2
 Fairclough had the style and the huge hits to place him higher, and Semenuk needs to hold a full run together to get high scores..
  • + 11
 Norbs robbed himself Frown
  • + 10
 Kelly(nr 2) Or Lacondyguy(nr 4) should be nr 1 after the first run...
  • + 10
 Lacondeguy got robbed
  • + 9
 who the funk is Fairclaw?!!! its CLOUGH!
  • + 4
 or Brendog
  • + 4
 Pronounced "CLUFF"....just incase Wink
  • + 0
 Yeah, damn yanks can't get it right, if I was brendog I'd be bouncing off the walls. Your name is your own, they should get it right!
  • + 0
 Brush. Brindle Hairbrush
  • + 4
 I was just thinking how cool it would be if Red Bull bought the part of the Gobi Desert that's in W.T.T.E, and makes another Freeride Event. I just think that is a really cool idea, and I think it will really grow our sport.
  • + 14
 I'm trying to build some stuff in Gobi Desert soon.
  • + 2
 That's really cool. What type of stuff are you planning to build?
  • + 1
 I'll come help with the digging, if you have a free spot on the couch! Big Grin
  • - 28
flag BikeNERD007 (Oct 13, 2013 at 13:26) (Below Threshold)
 ZINK GOT ROBBED, CALL 911
  • + 28
 No he didn't idiot. Sure, he did a crazy trick, but he did absolutley nothing on the bottom half
  • - 31
flag Alpha-Cinematography (Oct 13, 2013 at 13:37) (Below Threshold)
 stfu ya clown, he shoulda won that shit just with the drop alone. Go home, youre drunk.
  • + 15
 And what about McGarry, huh? You have to put together a good run all the way down, you can't just do one huge trick and expect to win
  • + 2
 mcgarry put together a good whole run, 3 flips in the whole thing including the canyon gap and one real high up the course. Zinc only did one trick, looking forward to seeing what he can do next run.
  • + 1
 Alpha: I think your drunk, and stupid. One trick should win? Really, why don't they all just do one drop from the sender then and score that? Oh yeah, cause the whole run counts not just one trick! so STFU ya clown!
  • + 1
 Okay, so lets just insult everyone, cause that solves it @ alpha, and clarky................. LOLOL i shouldnt have open'd this topic
  • + 1
 Lishredman:Here is the place I will dig in Gobi Desert for sure.http://www.pinkbike.com/photo/9234537/#top. And I will try my first frontflip right here.Hope to do that.At the same time I found a six-road-gap on the trail in Mud Volcano,but I don't have the courage to finish it.
  • + 7
 EVERYONE'S GETTIN ROBBED. No seriously, everybody's been laying down amazing runs but they can't all win...
  • + 8
 The worst camera work on rampage so far
  • + 12
 Eh, RedBull's pretty rich, but they don't have unlimited helicopters. And you can't have cameramen all over the mountain. They're doing their best.
  • - 6
flag nouser (Oct 13, 2013 at 13:56) (Below Threshold)
 No sorry but Redbull are minted. Could get better than they are doing its not like its the first year. No good shots of the canyon gap for the only uk rider is poor.
  • + 6
 It's probably in a tough area for a guy to get to with a bigass camera
  • + 4
 Correction: Yes, they do have a good shot of that canyon gap
  • + 1
 In the replys they had a good one
  • + 7
 It`s not about the number of resources available, they just keep choosing the wrong camera angle at the worst moment possible !
  • + 2
 Desperately in need of some ZOOM!! Gotta get in there with that chopper boys!
  • + 3
 you all bitching about a BAD ASS FREE event! really? Red Bull ad everyone behind HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUge props to you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • + 1
 You're all complaining about free coverage of an event in the middle of nowhere? Go have another Monster...
  • + 1
 go watch soccer if you didnt like it, this is a mountain not a stadium
  • + 1
 Is that what they say at a ski event. You turncoat
  • + 1
 haha, you guys all need a sip of reality!!!
This was far from a 'free' event- I reckon I paid for at least 13 planks on that sender with the amount of Redbull I've purchased just in the last year. Surely I am not the only one that drinks the stuff?
And BTW, who ever said you can't give feedback to a 'free' event... it's feedback that Redbull could use to make an even better event with even better coverage for next year = attract more viewers = ultimately more people buying redbull!!!
  • + 3
 So according to pinkbike users, everyone got robbed! Just shows how opinion based this kind of event is..no-ones score has been that far out of line, if at all..the whole robbed thing is going way to far, was justified for norbs,but not now..
  • + 1
 There's just no pleasing these guys. Red Bull Rampage? EVERYONE GOT ROBBED. Sick new 650b downhill bike? f*ck YOU I HATE CHANGE. In-depth reviews of cool products? THIS SHIT IS TOO EXPENSIVE AND IT SUCKS AND YOU SUCK AND I HATE EVERYTHING (surprise: mountain biking is expensive). Interbike coverage? YOU DIDN'T GIVE US ENOUGH THINGS TO HATE ON.
  • + 6
 if my jagerbombs can put a dude in space then surely it can pay some decent coverage??
  • + 6
 ZINK AND KELLY GOT ROBBED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! kyle strait does not deserve that 1 place so far :X
  • - 6
flag microlab (Oct 13, 2013 at 14:18) (Below Threshold)
 Agassiz got robbed too
  • + 6
 Zink is an absolute beast wat a flip
  • + 4
 Andreu got robbed!!! His run was just perfect, fast flowy, big tricks..oakley sender, what more the judges wanted?!
  • + 2
 totally agree!! he sure deserved a higher spot...
  • + 5
 Brendogs canyon gap deserves so much more
  • + 3
 I can't believe where he lands that thing , flat out 50 FEET onto a landing 2 bikes long into an upslope no wonder he snapped his linkage
  • + 4
 zink is crazy
  • + 3
 No one got robbed. Quit complaining. Judging was pretty fair this year.
  • + 1
 2013 isn't the year for fairclough - sick run, but the judges are stupid - in my (!) opinion, fairclough got robbed these days
  • + 5
 He wasnt robbed but he should of scored slightly higher in my opinion , I would of added 2 points to his score
  • + 4
 I put the style in his run too - about 5 points would be fair Wink
  • + 4
 zink is crazy
  • + 2
 Love the images Margus takes, they are in a league of their own.
  • + 1
 Another one bites the dust.... going big has big consequences! Heal fast and well everyone with injuries
  • + 3
 TMAC GOT ROBBED!!!
  • + 1
 Yes he did .
  • + 1
 Hoping Semmy will do good or brendoggggg
  • + 1
 Anyone know what happened to ryan howard?
  • + 1
 didn't make it to finals
  • + 2
 Run!!!!
  • + 2
 Andreu got robbed
  • + 1
 NORBS GOT ROBBED!!! (of a second run)
  • + 1
 Could you just stop using the word "robbed"? Kind of starts to suck...
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