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Day 1 Randoms - Red Bull Rampage 2023

Oct 10, 2023
by Brian Park  
Last light hits day one of riding in Virgin.
Last light hits day one of riding in Virgin.

Photos: Alexa Christensen, Izzy Lidsky, & Brian Park


If I hear "the Super Bowl of mountain biking" one more time I'm throwing myself off Gee's drop—but it's Rampage time again and we are back out in Virgin, Utah to witness our sport's crowning spectacle. The 2023 event is staying at the 2022 site, with many of the returning riders improving and refining their previous year's lines.

Historically, the second year of a venue at Rampage sees more built up stuff and bigger tricks, as the athletes have had more time to get comfortable with their lines. There's lots of new stuff this year too, the Gee/Brendog/Szymon line off the top to lily-pad onto the "Battleship" is absolutely psychotic, and several of the athletes have mentioned that Brendan's new canyon gap needs a ridiculous amount of commitment. Most of the rookies and riders who weren't at this venue last year are smartly choosing to evolve older lines. There are no extra points awarded for your build, because it'd be unfair to the first timers.

I'm sure the "it's too slopestyle" brigade will be out in full force, but even the crustiest of commenters will be able to appreciate some of these lines. The top section especially has riders choosing between impossibly steep, and impossibly tech and exposed. So many iconic moves (see what I did there?) have gone down on this course, and the stage is set for a massive week.

Today saw a bunch of folks put tires to dirt—notably Gee was flowing the top of his line, and Szymon flipped his canyon gap (and I believe sent a double lower down on course). Bienve flipped that canyon too. Usually riders don't start linking their lines up until later in the week, so this bodes well for a massive show on Friday. We say it every year but it bears repeating: everything is way bigger than it looks in the broadcast, and everyone will be pushing hard to make their mark on the mountain.





Szymon Godziek double dropping. At least one rider plans on sending this straight to the second landing.
Szymon Godziek double dropping. At least one rider plans on sending this straight to the second landing.

Bender and Spangler a couple of legends.
Bender and Spangler, a couple of legends.

photo
Jealous.

Brett Tippie is on the ground getting the goods for us this year.
Brett Tippie is on the ground getting the goods for us this year.

Video guys Stefan social media manager Hannah and a very jetlagged Dan Wolfe.
Video guy Stefan, social media manager Hannah, and a very jetlagged Dan Wolfe are on the ground for us as well.

Dust flying from the lower part of Tom Van Steenbergen s line.
Dust flying from the lower part of Tom Van Steenbergen's line.
Thomas Genon and Adolf Silva eyeing pieces of their lines.
Thomas Genon and Adolf Silva eyeing pieces of their lines.

It s hard to capture the scale of these hits...
It's hard to capture the scale of these hits. Gee's drop on the left (with two ant-sized people at the takeoff) is 60+ vertical feet, and gives me a pit in my stomach just looking at it.

In a sea of side by sides this was the coolest rig on the mountain.
In a sea of side by sides, this was the coolest rig on the mountain.

K nex for grownups.
K'nex for grownups.

Some lines in those hills.
Some lines in those hills.

Pascal Sapunar just took part in the Desert Days gathering.
Pascal Sapunar just took part in the Desert Days gathering.

The man tasked with keeping up with Tippie this week. Good luck Stefan.
The man tasked with keeping up with Tippie this week. Good luck Stefan.

Always nice to see Katie Holden in her element making things happen.
Always nice to see Katie Holden in her element, making things happen.

photo
Micayla Gatto doing all the things.
photo
Tommy G is running a single crown...

photo
Tommy has quietly racked up a lot of Rampage appearances. 2012 is pencilled in as well.

Various torture implements at the athlete tent.
Tools of the trade at the athlete tent.

photo
Tools of the trade on the hill.

Luca Cometti Media Haus keeping tabs on Kyle Strait.
Luca Cometti Media Haus keeping tabs on Kyle Strait.

There s a lot to think about with lines this big.
There's a lot to think about with lines this big.

The superbowl of mountain biking.
The superbowl of mountain biking. Sorry.
There are definitely tarantulas at Rampage.
There are definitely tarantulas at Rampage.

Paul Couderc is here digging for Thomas Genon. Paul is high on our list of people we d love to see get a Rampage invite one day.
Paul Couderc is here digging for Thomas Genon. Paul is high on our list of people we'd love to see get a Rampage invite one day.

Rampage shoes are never quite the same.
Rampage shoes are never quite the same.

Adolf Silva flipping at dusk.
Adolf Silva sent his flip at dusk.

photo
See you all tomorrow!


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Author Info:
brianpark avatar

Member since Dec 29, 2010
218 articles

66 Comments
  • 100 0
 I hope Gee is going to be OK.
  • 43 1
 We all do. Im actually worried this year.
  • 33 0
 He's literally only just got back up to full strength after the worst looking crash I've seen on screen. I honestly can't imagine how he gets up each morning and wants to go again, he must have so many aches and stuff. Also, imagine being in his family and crew. He's so obviously driven to do this, so they must be caught between being stoked to support him and afraid for the man. Crazy.
  • 11 0
 He’s 38 too which is ridiculous when you think he is riding at the absolute top still. He can definitely go big so I have no doubt he is riding within his skill set. I expect he knows though if he wants to win he has to go big.
  • 9 63
flag pargolf8 (Oct 10, 2023 at 5:25) (Below Threshold)
 @sourmix: the dudes a beast thats how. You sound like a whiny B. Crazy is worrying about something completely out of your control. This situation, per se
  • 8 1
 @pargolf8: That’s weird. My mom used to call me a whiny B. Can you explain that term?
  • 1 0
 I'm looking at that 60' drop and thinking Geesus, how's he gonna land that but then saw the quarry at Slate Line and that was insane
  • 3 0
 I only have undergrad physics and elementary-level bicycle riding, and my little brain can't figure out how that drop can possibly work out.
  • 1 0
 @enduroNZ: Come on man I'm almost 53 and almost back to my peak riding like when I was in my mid 20's. I was quite good then too by the way...
  • 5 0
 check the homepage. rough.
  • 4 0
 Unfortunately, this comment aged well.
  • 4 4
 @drjonnywonderboy: get your estrogen levels checked
  • 1 5
flag Durtwrx (Oct 11, 2023 at 8:50) (Below Threshold)
 @pargolf8: yup
Spot on. Bunch of sissies
  • 5 3
 @Durtwrx: Get your misogynist attitude in check.
  • 51 0
 Maybe slopestyle has just become too rampage?
  • 36 0
 Gee’s drop looks stupid big. But if Brage can stomp the Jah Drop in its natural form, I can understand how something bigger and super manicured is possible.

But damn, that’s a long way down.
  • 10 0
 The landing looks steeeeep, if he hits the sweet spot he should be good, but that thing looks insane! Also the gap at the top that he, Godziek and Brendog is planning to hit looks like absolutely insane exposure.
  • 13 0
 Are parachutes allowed?
  • 12 0
 Super manicured? From the photo the one on the right is super manicured, Gee's rop on the left looks 90% natural!
  • 2 0
 thats a true scaring clif drop... bigger than Jah drop?
  • 9 1
 @PauRexs: Jah Drop is 55feet / 16 meters. You are roughly 3 seconds free falling. You'll hit the ground at 100km/h / 62mph. Add up that the landing at the Jah is absolutely garbage, and you'll need a F1 drivers neck to survive. Neck protection is highly advised.

60feet is 18.2 meters, but at 100km/h
  • 1 0
 @Notmeatall: so Gee Drop is said to be 20m the landing it's steeper but also there is a commitment gap/speed which would make it going short a cathastrophe... so this thing would be the craziest move so far IMAO
  • 2 0
 @Notmeatall: Believe they measured the drop at 20 meters...
  • 2 0
 @megatryn: With the landing being soooo steep that also makes it incredibly short. Seems bonkers to snipe a 60+ foot drop. Just like it's bonkers to gap onto the ridge up top, or bonkers for Brendog to roll into a 60 foot canyon gap through a rough rock chute and lilly pad over another line, just like... everything is bonkers FULL STOP.
  • 1 0
 okk like I said... he knew and went too fast... I saw was way too difficult to judge speed in this one...
  • 32 0
 That Atherton drop is Geenormous.
  • 2 0
 hail Geesus
  • 19 0
 I know Gee is wild and his skills are just beyond my poor imagination (on a good day, I mean a good day for me) but everytime he's onto something I get sweating palms. I just want to see him rolling away from that healthy, that would be a win for me...
  • 23 1
 I'd love to see Gee take the win, definitely achievable.
  • 1 0
 My hopes is that Gee at least forces the judges into being more balanced in their judging. Value the gnar!
  • 17 0
 In an age where we can show a full 3d rendering of this entire landscape with everyone's line shown with precise detail, you'd think we would also be able to overcome the dilemma of using "rampage measuring" of drops (measuring the hypotenuse [Longest Point] for those that don't know that term). Of course the bigger number always sounds better... but give people a scalable comparison. We should have the technology to do it !

How Measuring should be Done -----> www.pinkbike.com/photo/23584883
  • 5 1
 Can we just not use 1. massive 2. WTF massive 3. ARE YOU KIDDING ME massive 4. No... no.... no.... !!!!
  • 3 0
 If we go this far shouldn't we be using a parabolic curve for the path, distance and angle of attack? Everybody measures these things like there's no gravity, but if you've ever actually watched a Rampage about the only guarantee is brother, there's going be gravity.
  • 1 0
 @plyawn: agreed, if anything they are under measuring the actual path traveled.
  • 16 0
 I have it on good authority that everyone's gonna start calling the superbowl the redbull rampage of football.
  • 13 3
 Imagine Tippy and Warner in the booth together.
  • 19 2
 True, but I think Cam's doing a great job.
  • 3 1
 @trippleacht: the three of them!
  • 2 1
 @trippleacht: Not taking away from Cam at all. He's great. It would just be kinda insane to hear those two bouncing off each other.....perhaps it would be too much LOL
  • 2 0
 That's the exact combo that we need the two would bring the perfect energy to the table!
  • 8 1
 Gee Atherton is to mountain biking what Nyjah Huston is to skateboarding...could just retire comfortably...has zero reason to be going as hard as he is...but just sending it on an insane level just for the love of the sport.
  • 6 0
 I hope the wind doesn't affect the event as redbull didn't learn and kept the same schedule..
The 2nd year on a site is alway the best, hope strait and zink can make it works, hope nobody fall from the "ship" on top as it would be tragic, and hope a european slopestyle guy win so everybody on this website get salty about it.
The freeeride mafia week is always exiting !!
  • 6 1
 Vloggers have spent the off-season preparing the ultimate in hyperbole for their YouTube titles, and I am ready to indulge in the ecstasy of reading them.
  • 3 0
 Mad props to all the riders! How they progress to this level is way beyond what most bikers will ever do, therefore seems impossible and foolish to attempt. I miss the Lecondeguy/Aggasi drop from a few years ago. They all got big balls.
  • 6 0
 Tippie and the girl he's posing with have nice teeth!
  • 1 0
 I don't think I could ride any of these lines, but I KNOW I couldn't spend 10 days thinking about it and building it before hand. I'd be a jibbering wreck from the stress. Fingers crossed for no wind and everyone staying on the bike and the bike on the line.
  • 7 5
 Definitely some actual freeride happening this year and not all slope style like the previous couple of years
  • 2 0
 Did Gee have his 'nads replaced with titanium bowling balls last time he was under the knife?
  • 1 0
 I thought PB was doing less coverage of rampage, in protest of the no women invites? seems like the most coverage ever.
  • 1 0
 This sit worries and scares me. Praying for Gee
  • 1 0
 终于要开始了!期待!
  • 1 0
 Exactly
  • 1 0
 Gee got robed!!! Ah shit... too early Big Grin
  • 1 1
 Someone gonna do a suicide no-hander or tailwhip and win it.
  • 1 0
 Where’s Lauren smith?
  • 4 5
 looks like a too slpoestyle session
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