Graham Agassiz Pulls Out of Red Bull Rampage

Sep 20, 2017
by Brian Park  
Healing vibes out to Aggy after a heavy crash on his first run. Not a good year for him after just coming off a broken hand.



Aggy has come so close to winning Rampage so many times. In 2013 he qualified 1st, but didn’t stomp his finals run. In 2014 he qualified 1st, but hurt his knee in practice and couldn’t ride finals. In 2015 he qualified 1st again, but took 3rd in finals. In 2016 he was prequalified, but wrecked on a massive 3-drop en route to what could easily have been a winning run.



Hands blowing off and smoke off the rear wheel... heal up Aggy.
Aggy's bars got pulled out of his hands on impact.
bigquotesBy the time I completed the spin it was too late, I clipped the overhanging rock shelf only two feet to the right of the top of the landing. This then immediately ejected my bike from beneath me, where all I could see was this big boulder protruding from the right side of the landing where all my momentum was being thrown into.
(Read his full post-Rampage story here)
Graham Agassiz on his 2016 Rampage crash



With so much history, and coming so close so many times, we’re gutted to see Aggy pull out of Rampage with an ankle injury this year. Here’s what he had to say:

bigquotesThere are a few things holding me back at the moment in getting redemption after last year, and it honestly crushes me inside to be held back like this. It's been a bit of a nightmare summer for me after I injured my ankle at the Fest, Black Sage in Bend Oregon back in April.

I've battled with pain and injuries going into this one in the past but this time is different. It's just not ready for where I need it to be for an event like Rampage. This has been one of the hardest decisions I've had to make, and I apologize to those I may be letting down. There's a lot that goes on behind the scenes and I feel I just need a break from it all.

Rampage will forever be my holy grail. Hopefully we can get a fresh canvas again next year and I'll be back! Till then, I have a couple projects planned for this fall to cap the season off, but what I'm really looking forward to the most is some much needed soul shredding with friends and family.
Aggy


Photo by Ale Di Lullo


No word yet on if another rider will get the call-up in his place. We wish Aggy the best with his recovery!


105 Comments

  • + 345
 Aggy must not prove anything more what he has already done. He is one of the greatest, that's all.
  • + 51
 you got more than our full respect buddy!!!
  • + 16
 Well said! Smart move Aggy, heal up and come back next year to finally get your Rampage win!
  • + 1
 Stay safe aggy we love you. I support (t)his decision
  • + 1
 Totally agree. Also sounds like the venue had a lot to do with his decision. Honestly makes me afraid for the young guns if the seasoned riders don't aren't comfortable there, or as comfortable as you can be at an event like rampage.
  • + 2
 Yuuup. I'd rather see him ripping FEST all year than aggravating an injury just for a few runs at Rampage.
  • + 97
 I don't think Rampage is one of those events where you have to win to go down in history. Kelly McGarry for instance. With Aggy, his quali runs and things we've all witnessed him do before the actual contest runs even start at Rampage are enough to put him in Rampage royalty as far as I'm concerned. Hope he has a good refreshing off season and recovers fully.
  • + 10
 This is true but the riders themselves likely don't see it that way. These guys have so much passion and drive that they want to win it.
  • + 2
 @sino428: especially Aggy, who I would believe wants to (and has a legitimate claim to) be closer to *the* best than just *one of* the best freeriders of all time.
  • + 5
 Norbs. Norbs was robbed.
  • + 7
 he is the best he doesn't have to pull slopestyle tricks out of his ass he goes huge and has style doing it that's what freeride is about. His style is unmatched
  • + 37
 Id like to see rampage run by the riders on their own terms. A little more like fest. By the riders, for the riders. More time to build, test their lines and then throw down under ideal conditions. Two runs each, fully filmed and judged by the riders. A solid fee paid to each of the riders for being selected with prize money for winning and placing after that. Could be a little idealistic but watching guys throw down in less than ideal conditions given what they're already putting on the line is unfair on them I think. It might not be possible as a live event but fest and ews are not covered live and they don't seem to suffer because of it. It could be covered as a week long event. There's potentially holes to be worked out in the above but watching guys breaking themselves to the point of paraplegia on runs that sketchier than needed is getting hard to watch
  • + 21
 It's a nice idea but just look at the differences between events like rampage and fest. Look at the recognition and amount of coverage an event like rampage gets compared to Fest, it's not even comparable. Clips from rampage make it onto all types of mainstream media. Fest is completely obscure to those outside the hardcore bike community. That's all because it's s live event. There is coverage, buildup, performance under pressure etc. All that coverage and buildup leads to and event, a ridiculous awesome show. You just wont get that type of interest in a prerecorded highlight package of an event.
  • + 5
 Honestly I don't understand the Fest. It just seems to me that's it's a bunch of guys hanging out and riding. And the same line over and over at that. It's not a competition is it? Rampage is totally different.
  • + 4
 FEST IS BEST!
  • + 5
 " fest and ews are not covered live and they don't seem to suffer because of it". I would argue that they do. Of course, fests goal is not to have a dramatic live-tv event, but rampage gets SO much more exposure than either of them.
  • + 2
 @clarky78: I don't think mere mortals can comprehend what Fest is about until they've witnessed it. I'm still unable to comment as I've not been, but the size of hits those boys are playing with and the speed they're at is a game changer.
  • + 1
 Rampage wouldn't have existed without the riders mainly running it in the first 4 years. Rampage only came back because of dedicated riders making it happen. The changes we've seen over the past couple of years shows riders still have sway in how the contest is run. FEST isn't a multi-million dollar production and world famous event. The runs at Rampage have always been sketch with rider's risking serious injury.

What the f*ck are you talking about?
  • + 28
 Jordie lunn. Suite up boy
  • + 17
 like a hotel suite?
  • + 9
 @JustinLund: more like a pajama suit
  • + 23
 Gutted, in my opinion, Agassiz is the sickest rider in the world right now and I truly love to watch him ride Rampage, or to be honest, anything where he can go big. Sorry to hear you are out dude, but don't apologise, you aren't letting anyone down by opting out, just doing the right thing to recover - I for one would rather see many more sick edits of you throwing down in the future than see you crash out for trying not to disappoint in one competition!
  • + 18
 The Duck Dinasty family will be happy to have you back. Heal up soon.
  • + 12
 Gutted indeed. But, what does this one sentence mean, which seems to be out of context here? Any insights? -- "There's a lot that goes on behind the scenes and I feel I just need a break from it all. "
  • + 5
 Noticed that too, seems there is more to it than his ankle.
  • + 3
 @DARKSTAR63: Maybe he's just tired and burnt out from it all. He went from a broken pelvis to shredding again super quickly, and then hurt his ankle again shortly after. I don't care who you are that's going to take a mental toll on you. If he's physically not ready for rampage and mentally he's still trying to recover a bit then it's probably best to take this years rampage off and get to 100% for next year
  • + 3
 @dirtjumper771: I 100% agree. I was just pondering the "behind the scenes" comment, he very well could simply mean all the preparations.
  • + 1
 Compared to FEST, there's a lot that goes into prepping for this. Once the event takes place (from build/practice to comp) its a pretty rigid structure. Plus there can be "drama" and in-fighting among the riders over line choices, builds and other silly stuff all the while being on the gnarliest terrain ever. It seems like it can potentially be stressful for certain riders.
  • + 14
 Call me up coach. I'm ready to step up to the big leagues.
  • + 2
 You don't wanna make this believe me
  • + 10
 I never pull out
  • + 8
 Keep it real brew. No apologies needed.
  • + 4
 I'm curious how these riders that are often injured, don't compete regularly, don't produce video parts, don't often promote their sponsors and spend their time fishing, hunting, camping, heli-biking and general goofing-off make an honestly living?

I'm not dogging Aggy as he's one of my favorites, but I am curious how these dudes make a living.
  • + 8
 Ebike
  • + 2
 A lot of these guys have day jobs man. I know of at least one that spent every second of his free time framing houses so he could afford to globe trot for races and the like.
  • + 4
 Like he said, there's a lot that goes on behind the scenes. Get your soul shred on Aggy!!
  • + 3
 Why wouldn't one of the wild cards get called in. That's what they're there for. Question is... who is it?

On another note. Sucks man. That's two guys I really enjoy watching ride that have pulled out so far. But health is important. Heal up Graham.
  • + 1
 Who else?
  • + 4
 injuries help to balance our riding. you can get too goal oriented. And the fun starts to go away. when your forced to ride mellow, the focus comes back to pure fun and you become an even better rider.
  • + 1
 Yes and no, you gotta have goals for progression... Aim for big races and big lines you've never done before. There's a balance between hitting these things and injuring yourself, your right. Personally I don't want the mellow side to kick in.
  • + 2
 "Soul shredding" - love it. The man has his priorities straight and I hope his sponsors are 100% supportive. There should never be pressure on these guys to go out and ride injured - whether it be implied or straight up "ride or get dropped from the program"-type BS.
  • + 11
 we have been in contact with Aggy all summer about this decision, and we support it fully. If anything Dakine and some of his other big sponsors have nudged him to go this route. These riders are like family to us--not disposable huck dolls--so we are all about the rider's best interest, not how we can get more exposure for our products. Best of luck to all of the athletes competing this year.
  • + 6
 oh nooooo! heal up quick! Wink
  • + 2
 How does someone from the wild card list get picked? Is it like a lucky dip or on previous years accolades?
Sad news Aggy but totally understandable, this comp is the biggest of the year for many of the athletes and I think this is a wise choice if u are not 100% fit, the venue looks scary from just the countless vids I've seen but in person it must be amplified 1million %!!
  • + 3
 No Aggy or Doerfling!!! Those two bring some of the best style, ahead of the pack. Respect for what they are both doing taking this year off, and keep having fun on and off the bikes.
  • + 1
 NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO I was looking forward to watching a Kona Bike end up on top!
  • + 1
 Gutted Aggy won't be there this year, but not upset by his decision at all. Get well soon. The world of Mountain biking needs more of your signature style and flow. Can't wait to see what you are working on.
  • + 2
 You are the man Aggy! Wise choice if you don't feel 100%. Both my favourites are now out, Doerfling and Aggy. Much respect to both.
  • + 2
 Rampage is one of those events that if you just get in - you are a champ. Hope Aggy gets better!
  • + 1
 Rampage without aggy ??? aggy is Rampage, the only event he is competing......get back on the bike quickly, i know that would be a painful recovery
  • + 1
 The reason I love this event is because there is not one aspect you can second guess yourself on.. put William Robert in wild card list or not!!!
  • + 4
 invite Vinny T now !!
  • + 4
 Aggy was robbed
  • + 2
 damnnn... can't wait to see the projects, serious respect man, hope recovery goes well
  • - 1
 One thing I don't understand is all this shit is totally banned anywhere near where I live, yet it's a world wide televised huge sporting event. Like jumps here are literally illegal, yet it's a top professional sport. What a fucking pile my life is.
  • + 1
 wait, really?? Where is "here"? Why are they illegal?
  • + 2
 I thought Alberta was the land of the free ????
  • + 3
 I know the feeling. When you're in your mid 30's with a good job and you'd move for $12 an hour just to be closer to some better jumps...
  • + 4
 @Rucker10: stop dreaming and do it. We live for the after-work hours
  • + 1
 Illegal? Are you sure? Calgary is about to get an indoor bike park... do some googling.
I'm pretty sure it's not illegal lmao.
  • + 1
 Not illegal, just no one wants to accept the liability. If you've got the land and insurance (or risk tolerance without it) then fill your boots.
Or wait for the bike park, sign a waiver and #hucktoflat
  • + 1
 Canmore literally just opened a second dirt jump park, albeit small jumps but fun all the same.
  • + 3
 Respect. Know your limits to keep fighting.
  • + 2
 I hope you get well soon. Sad to hear, but you'll be back in no time. No apologies needed. Big Grin
  • + 3
 Rogatkin to take his place!!! Make it happen red bull!!!
  • + 11
 What are you smoking ?
  • + 11
 @emccurrie: it's good shit, you want some?
  • - 3
 I can't believe that's not the first comment...it's what the people want. We all wanted to see Mr Aggy finish his run, but it's good to see him follow his heart. Now let Rollgatkin rotate like rampage has never seen!
  • + 5
 There's a reason why Nicholi isn't invited to rampage. Couple years ago he almost died and they stopped inviting every hot on the scene slopestyle rider just because they've had a fire season. I think he is an amazing rider BUT, does not belong at rampage, there's so many more deserving riders that should be there well before him. @takeiteasyridehard:
  • + 0
 Did you idiots not read the wild card rider list? He's not on it.
  • + 2
 @onemanarmy: I don't really care what the wild card list is...you take this too seriously. When rogatkin makes a public statement saying he doesn't want to go, then I will stop supporting him for rampage. But I would rather watch him at rampage than almost any other rider, and certainly more than the alternates. Don't forget a*shole, we all have opinions, and the Internet is the place to show it.
  • + 1
 @takeiteasyridehard: I think you're taking it to seriously. All pissed off. LOL!


Side note... the wild car list guys are all riding already. They just have to qualify where the others don't. The list for replacement people is confidential.

I'd have to imagine that Rogatkin has no interest in doing it. He hasn't been riding out there. Way too busy doing Slopestyle events... and killing it. I'd imagine that next year he'd be interested in coming back. I"d be super surprised if he jumped on at this point. The event is right around the corner.

But if he does... I'll watch. Dude is nuts. I could see him trying something crazy over a canyon gap. Or doing a custom booster towards the bottom to throw something gnarly on.

So.... don't be so seriously. Dudes are all nuts! Looking forward to seeing everyone. Benefit to less guys is it's more likely that the ones that are riding get a full go without being blown off the hill.
  • + 3
 Casey Brown?
  • + 1
 You're the man, Aggy! Props for doing what's best for you, takes a lot of guys.
  • + 1
 ????????no need to apologize for aggy, love to see him ride wherever ????????
  • + 2
 "What... is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?"
  • + 4
 African or european?
  • + 2
 So sad to hear this, i wish the best for his recovery
  • + 2
 surely adolf silva can take his place.....
  • + 1
 Put Vink back in! Miss seeing that dude ride rampage.
  • + 2
 Heal up dude.
  • + 1
 true legend, can't wait for next year. heal up dude
  • + 2
 Cancel rampage!
  • + 1
 A Bas & Tom showdown would be nice
  • + 1
 gutted... His Moto whips from last year were so stylishhhhh !
  • + 0
 This is no F#@KING good...was my pick to win this year, it was his time!! so...Adolf Silva To fill the spot Smile ?
  • + 2
 @djfloorfiller74: Nicholi Rogatkin or Adolf Silva... Silva double backflips at Redbull Rampage 2017 Wink Wink
  • + 2
 Bummer man! Next year!!
  • + 1
 Noooooo! So looking forward to him finally taking it this year!
  • + 1
 Heal up Aggy! Live to fight another day!
  • + 1
 NOOOOO. Favorite rider of all time to watch.
  • + 0
 Would love to see Jordien Lunn or Rogatkin fill his spot....
  • + 5
 or Tupin/Vink
  • + 0
 He is out cause Rampage is Cranky
  • + 1
 Hey man get well soon!
  • + 0
 Connor fearon to take his place!
  • + 1
 Sucks Frown
  • + 1
 Wise move in the circs
  • + 1
 Brokenhearted :-(
  • - 1
 Sucks, all the best with ya recovery! Rogatkin to fill spot?
  • - 1
 Finally an entry for Mitch Chubey ? Big Grin
  • + 2
 He's been there atleast 3 times!
  • - 3
 What is the point of living right now?! Frown
  • + 2
 love

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