Rampage 2004 photos
Virgin, UT – October 31, 2004 – Undaunted by days of downpours, thirty of the best freeride mountain bikers from around the world (including riders from the Czech Republic, Germany, Australia, England, Ireland, France, Canada, and the US) gathered to bid a fond farewell to Red Bull Rampage in Virgin, Utah. The sun came out just in time to dry out the dirt on the qualifying ridge, the same intimidating ridge used for finals at Red Bull Rampage 2001-2003. Unfortunately, the plan of breaking in a brand new ridge for finals had to be scrapped due to soggy soil, but that did not stop the bar from being raised.
“This year’s Red Bull Rampage is epic and blows all
of the other events away. There were lines that would put you on the
podium last year. The same lines this year might not get you qualified,”
said Judge Darren Butler, an experienced freerider himself (Darren competed at Red Bull Rampage 2001).
Riders took turns climbing the red mountains and aggressively charging down a variety of difficult lines from the 1,500-foot high starting gate.
Testing their technical abilities in downhill and overall freeriding, they repeatedly attacked the mountain competing for glory and a $15,000 prize purse.
A “KAYODIC” HALLOWEEN “Kayodik” Kyle Strait took home first prize today at Red Bull Rampage 2004, pulling out an astounding last run of the day. Kyle said, “I did a couple of whips and a drop that I always overclear during practice and I overcleared it again…I came down to the bottom and took my hands off of the handle bars -- for the longest I’ve ever had them off for...I was scared during the last jump, but thought to myself, let’s make this.” Being Kyle’s fourth year competing in Red Bull Rampage, he knew exactly what he was getting into. Making a name for himself in biking since the age of 10, Kyle is now 17 and killing it in 2004, including placing third at the World Championships in France (the only downhill medal rewarded to a US rider), and now the gold at Red Bull Rampage 2004!
Nineteen-year-old Englishman, Gee Atherton, won second place today, viewing the rain as a positive thing: “The conditions were a bit wet, but I think it helped in the end because you could build better lines and kickers because the soil held together.” Knowing that the competition was fierce, Gee went into his final run with determination: “I really liked my line, but I knew I needed to step it up so I added in another drop to my line. I stuck the Super T drop -- a 30 foot gap.”
Canadian Steve Romaniuk was determined to place well today – and he did!
Bringing home third place, Steve said, “My adrenaline is at notch 23. I kept hearing people screaming on the hillside. It felt right and I thought to myself, now is the time to hit the gap.” A former motocross rider, Romaniuk broke onto the mountain bike scene in 2003 with a fifth place finish at Red Bull Rampage. Steve’s unbelievable riding have earned the 19-year-old daredevil nicknames like “RomaniAK” and “RomaHuck.” “I came down here and my goal was to podium since it is the last year Red Bull is having this event (in Utah). There’s no other event like it. I am stoked!”
RED BULL RAMPAGE – YESTERDAY, TODAY AND TOMORROW Born and bred on the cliffs of Utah, Red Bull Rampage began in 2001 and has become the freeride mountain bike competition by which all others will be measured. Held on cliffs just outside of Zion National Park at Kolob Reservoir Road, Red Bull Rampage is unlike traditional events with set courses. Riders choose their own lines and are judged on control, amplitude, style, fluidity, and the difficulty of the line they choose. In other words, who’s the biggest bad ass.
Derek Westerlund of Freeride Entertainment has witnessed the evolution of Red Bull Rampage over the past four years, “Competition was really elevated, really fluid and fast. First year people were pioneering the movement, second year big jumps were introduced, third year fluid routes were chosen, and this year people were strong and able to pull all of the past years experiences together.”
Journalist Keith Carlsen has also watched Red Bull Rampage evolve, with things like Klassen’s winning move in 2002 “A 30 ft drop – good example of how the sport is progressing. Two years ago Tyler Klassen did that and won, everyone was losing their mind. This year, Kyle was a surprise to win it. I’ve been watching him and doing stories on him for years now and it was nice to see him come out with total confidence and stomp it. Gee Atherton was also a surprise. Gee is a downhill racer and did a 20-foot drop without practicing it. Red Bull Rampage sets the standards every year.
It’s become a test piece for the sport.”
Judge Marla Streb stated, “I am blown away. I’ve seen Red Bull Rampage in photos and seen it on TV, but there is nothing like being here in person.
As a rider myself, I am even more impressed because I know how hard this is. Even a five foot drop is difficult and these guys are doing 70 foot jumps. It’s just mind boggling. They are modern day gladiators. Red Bull has done so much for the sport. I am looking forward to seeing what their next move will be.”
For information, photos from the event, and more go to
www.redbullrampage.com or contact Piney Kahn at 310.460.5362. Free photos may also be ordered for editorial use only in high resolution at www.redbull-photofiles.com.
PLACE NAME PRIZE RUN 1 RUN 2 BEST
1st Kyle Strait $5,000 81.6 85.8 85.8
2nd Gee Atherton $3,500 77.8 83.8 83.8
3rd Steve Romaniuk $2,000 70 79.8 79.8
4th Thomas Vanderham $1,300 79.4 68 79.4
5th Lance Canfield $700 78 DNF 78
6th Ben Reid $500 68.8 70.4 70.4
7th Cameron Zink $400 64.4 69.6 69.6
8th Glyn O’Brien $400 67.6 61.4 67.6
9th Mike Kinrade $300 60.4 67.4 67.4
10th Wade Simmons $300 DNF 64 64
11th Guido Tschugg $300 63.8 58.4 63.8
12th Matty Hunter $300 56.2 DNS 56.2