In only ten days, the most hotly anticipated slopestyle mountain bike competition of the year, Red Bull Joyride, will take over Whistler. Featuring one of the largest courses built in the four year history of the event, including three all-new features and an overall increase in height, the extra hang-time will allow athletes to push the limits of what is possible on two wheels. A Diamond stop on the FMB World Tour, the event will anchor the final weekend of the Crankworx Whistler festival on August 16.
With twenty top athletes vying for a first place win, action has been heating up on the FMB World Tour leading up to Red Bull Joyride. Whistler local hero Brandon Semenuk will look to defend his 2013 title while top condenders Brett Rheeder and Anthony Messere are looking for a spot on the podium after strong seasons.
Fans can catch all the gravity-defying action live online at www.redbull.ca/joyride on August 16. Red Bull Joyride, a headline event in the Red Bull Signature Series, will air Sunday, September 28 at 1 pm ET on NBC. The show is brought to a national NBC audience in partnership with Dodge Dart, GoPro and Polaris RZR.
With the competition and crowds only ten days away, professional athlete Brandon Semenuk under the guidance of Darren Berrecloth tested the course from top to bottom earlier this month to work out any kinks and ensure the courses’ safety. Darren Berrecloth was originally slated to test the track but a nagging toe injury prevented his ride. Filmed in one take on one run, both Brandon and Darren gave the course the seal of approval.
“It (the course) worked properly right out of the gate this year, which is awesome. Usually we have to come in here and tweak a bunch of stuff, but the builders did a great job and got it all on the first try” – Darren Berrecloth
Experience the rush of slopestyle mountain biking and ride along with Brandon Semenuk here as he makes first decent on the 2014 Red Bull Joyride course.
THE CONTENDERS Twenty of the top slopestyle riders from around the world will descend on Whistler for the season-defining competition. From a pack of talented athletes, a handful of riders have already emerged as top contenders for the title.
Whistler’s own Brandon Semenuk will look to defend his title following his first place victory at last years event in 2013. Since winning the first ever Red Bull Joyride event in 2011, the homecourt advantage has proved favorable for the 23 year old athlete who has racked up a total of 3 first place victories at the event. Coming off one of his biggest years yet which included the release of his first full-length ‘Brandon Semenuk’s Rad Company’, Semenuk’s sights are now firmly set on competition.
Ontario’s Brett Rheeder is one of the premier stars on the mountain bike slopestyle scene. With signature big tricks and consistency in his riding, Rheeder finished 3rd in the 2013 overall FMB World standings and made history winning the first-ever mountain bike slopestyle event at the summer X-Games in Mucnich, Germany that same year. Coming off a major back injury that sidelined him for Red Bull Joyride 2013, Rheeder has won his last three contests so far this season and will be hungry for the win.
As one of the youngest riders on the professional circuit at 19 years old, BC’s Anthony Messere has quickly developed his skill and experience over the past years. On track to be a banner year in his career, Messere most recently took first place in the slopestyle competition at Crankworx France in July 2014. Catching a few veteran riders off guard, he will be one to watch this year.
THE COURSE Each year feedback is collected from athletes about the course to improve it in following years. The result is a design directly influenced by the riders themselves. In 2012, riders felt the track was too fast which ushered in a course redesign in 2013 that moved more laterally across the hill to improve flow and reduce speed.
The sentiment this year was a need to go even bigger than ever. Focusing on flow and amplitude, the supersized features are some of the biggest in the history of the event yet. Defying gravity for a few more seconds, athletes will make good use of the extra time as they push the limits of what is possible on two wheels with never before seen tricks.
Riders agree that while bigger, the new design is safer with more opportunity to check speed as they prepare for jumps. The 2014 Red Bull Joyride is sure to set a new standard for freeride mountain biking once again.