Brendan Fairclough and Nico Vink at Red Bull Rampage

Oct 22, 2013
by SCOTT Sports  
We're lucky at SCOTT to be able to work with two of the most stylish riders out there on a DH rig- Brendan Fairclough and Nico Vink. Fortunately, they both received an invite to participate once more this year at Red Bull Rampage. Being a part of this event is truely a remarkable experience for the riders. We sat down with Brendog and Nico to give you guys some behind the scenes insight on what it is like to be at the top of the hill in Virgin, Utah.
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Having both competed in Rampage before, what were your goals and aspirations leading into this year’s event?

Nico
bigquotesFor me it was simple. I wanted to get back into the main event and to improve upon my performance from last year.
Brendan
bigquotesMy main goals were to jump my stupid canyon gap and to end top 10 so that I would be pre-qualified for next year's event. I managed to get both done so I came away pretty happy.
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Brendan and Nico having a good laugh. Spirits were high all week.

Due to some rain, official practice had been cancelled for the day. Naturally, this meant that it was the perfect time to head to the old Rampage site to have a good old hip-session with the buds.


Nico brings his moto style everywhere he goes, and man does it look good.

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It seems like the current Rampage site in Virgin has been ridden left and right. How did you go about choosing your lines?

Nico
bigquotesI decided to ride my line from last year, and to change the bottom section. I looked for different options, but in the end I decided that I still really liked the line I had chosen last year, and didn't find anything better.
Brendan
bigquotesWhen I first went there last year I found a gap over a canyon and figured it would look pretty good in photos, so I worked on that. Then I decided to just work based off of my strengths and built a fast, exposed and technical line into the gap.
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Sometimes you just have to push up for the goods. Brendan putting in his time.


Brendan practicing his steeze wanting to make sure it was ready for the main event.

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What sort of mental preparation do you go through before such an event?

Nico
bigquotesI guess I just deal with it. I entered the event so now I have to ride it. Honestly, it is pretty scary at some points. When you see your mates going down hard and you need to ride after, it gets you thinking. The only way to do it is to block it out and deal with it.
Brendan
bigquotesI didn't really have much time to prepare as I had to race for the World Cups before the event, so my mind was preoccupied with that, but I definitely had a lot of sleepless nights worrying about jumping the canyon.
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Brendog and his crew put in a lot of work during the week to sculpt a line out of a previously unridden area. It was designed for mountain goat like traversing, but with ample amounts of speed.


Brendan's canyon gap remained from last year. It was time for Round 2. He sized it up quite a bit during practice, which to be honest was a very good idea considering the consequences.


...and then he just decided to send it in true Fairclough style.

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Brendan, you finally hit your canyon gap. What was that like?

bigquotesIt was one of the most terrifying and satisfying moments I've ever had on my bike! Was up there with being on the World Cup podium.
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Here is another angle to give you a better idea of how big the gap was. 50 feet across, huck to flat with little run out.


Nico's line was steep. Sometimes television doesn't do the terrain justice. This photo does.

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Nico, how different is it for you to dig and shape in this terrain as opposed to the work you do in Europe?

bigquotesFor me the hardest part is finding a line on the hill. I like to get lines that are super flowy. You also need to compromise with all the other lines that are being built at the same time, so you can't always ride the line you would love to ride, which makes it a challenge. Your choices are much more restricted than when working on projects in the Alps, for instance.
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Nico's final run was super fast and flowy. He even threw his first flip in a competition ever.


Nico just cruising.

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Any chance we can get you two together in the near future for a little sender edit?

Nico
bigquotesI would love to work on a project with Brendan- would be sick! I'm working on my Royal Hills line this winter so he can come and shred the line anytime.
Brendan
bigquotesJust give me a time and place and I'll be there. Love riding with Nico, have got a lot or respect for his riding. Feel like he should have been scored better at Rampage.
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Well done to the boys. Looking forward to next year's event already.

Special thanks to Ian Collins for all of the images.


26 Comments

  • 58 0
 Brendawgs line for me looked far more technical than most out there. The fact he looked so smooth and fast on it may actually have gone against him. That caynon gap required inch perfect precision.
  • 8 0
 Couldn't agree more. He made it look effortless riding along that ridge at the start and popping a little tweak while jumping along it and all. I doubt many of the other lads would even ride it cleanly let alone with such pace and precision. That and the fact the Canyon gap was just batshit crazy make him the winner in my eyes.
  • 7 0
 I reckon he probably lost points (flow) for coming to a stop after landing his Canyon Gap... But that is what the line required and he didn't put a foot down. Additionally, his second run was definitely stronger, but discounted due to wind :/
  • 5 0
 Most of his line was crazy enough, but the fact that he built his own canyon gap and it was huck to flat is awesome. Super stoked for how him and Nico did this year
  • 28 1
 Nico got robbed!! Brendan is right
  • 16 0
 Definitely judged poorly, imo. Brendan ran a much more difficult line than most guys. NOBODY traversed that slope, and he stuck it like it was easy, popping off everything. Then a suicide, nac nac, and canyon gap. Fast, flowy, etc. According to the judging criteria, he should have scored higher. Line choice was probably the hardest, check. Speed, check, flow, check, amplitude, check. Throw in tricks, check.... I mean, as gnarly as the big drop was, the canyon gap seemed substantially sketchier and harder to manage. Oh well, was awesome to watch!
  • 14 0
 Get CG to be Rampage judge. He is retired from racing and has won the event before. He would bring balance to the judging panel. But opinions will always be there.
  • 3 0
 Good Damn Point! ... Cedric for Judge would be Key.
  • 1 0
 I wouldn't want to be a judge for events like this. Slopestyle events are a little easier to judge since they're all riding the same line, essentially. Big mountain events - there are sooooooo many subtleties that all the riders put into their lines and runs that it's impossible to give any of them the scores they truly deserve.
  • 13 0
 Why isn't there a Nac off that brendon fairclough can win?
  • 10 2
 Damn, i hoped to see a photo of Brendans broken linkage... Nice article though!
  • 2 1
 Me too!! There has to be one somewhere
  • 6 1
 i don't think it will ever see the light of day, as scott would be intent on keeping it out of the public eye, especially knowing it would most likely be used all other forums by fools citing it as evidence for how weak scott's are. only a couple of sites even mentioned it and a fair few ignored it, commentators did so as well, and no scott rider would post it if they want a job still :p
  • 5 0
 think the gambler is one of the toughest bikes
  • 6 0
 This Fairclough guy belonged on the podium. Either him or Lacondeguy. Not one hit wonderboy.
  • 5 0
 Or T-Mac.
  • 6 0
 what a bunch of sick guys! love that new gambler too
  • 5 0
 Mad props to both giving it their all at this years rampage. I was pretty stoked to see BRENDOG hit that gap finally!!
  • 2 0
 "Nico's line was steep. Sometimes television doesn't do the terrain justice. This photo does." No vid or photo can do the terrain justice! Too insane! Guys are unreal! Cheers to Brendog, Nico, and all the other chargers at RR for pushing the envelope and absolutley ripping lines us mere mortals would not even hike!
  • 6 0
 Steezus Christ
  • 2 0
 Wicked pics
  • 3 0
 Smiley face in canyon gap anyone?
  • 2 0
 Epic photo opp.... have Fairclough send his gap with Semenuk in the background sailing on his line
  • 2 0
 proud to be belgian with rider like nico, such a good mental and spirit!
  • 2 0
 I love to watch Brendan riding,he inspires me so much !
  • 2 2
 want a pic of Brendogs bike after it broke on the canyon gap in practice! Smile





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