New Location, Badder Course, Same Attitude
Red Bull Rampage, the premier freeride mountain biking competition, held annually from 2001 to 2004, is blasting back onto the scene in 2008, bigger and badder than ever before. From October 2-5, Red Bull Rampage: The Evolution will draw the greatest riders in the world to a new venue just outside Virgin, Utah, offering the most challenging terrain mountain bike competition has ever seen.MAKING HISTORY
As the new millennium arrived in 2000, a new breed of riders were pushing the frontiers of mountain biking, veering off the established groomed trails to forge first descents down unchartered mountains, similar to backcountry freeskiers. These riders were tackling steep lines and treacherous cliff drops, filming jaw-dropping video parts, and pushing the limits of the sport. With the birth of Red Bull Rampage in 2001, the event gave these pioneering riders a venue to prove that they were among the most skillful riders on the planet – not to mention some of the craziest. Red Bull Rampage immediately became the event that everyone clamored to be at all year; riders from all mountain bike disciplines hoped for an exclusive invite to the event, and the industry held its collective breath every October to see just how far Red Bull Rampage and the riders would push the sport.
After four inspiring and extremely successful years at the same venue, the long search began for a new, even more challenging piece of terrain. Event organizers scoured the globe from Turkey to China to Mexico and beyond to find the perfect location that could match the sport’s progression. Ironically, after years of searching, it was only 20 miles from the original Red Bull Rampage site that the most ideal land revealed itself – and called for the return of mountain biking’s biggest event. Red Bull Rampage: The Evolution features all-new terrain with bigger man-made elements, and the possibilities are endless. Robbie Bourdon, who placed third at the 2001 event, knows that the stakes will be raised in 2008. "They're going to bring slopestyle riding and big mountain riding together," he says, "and it's going to turn into the sickest contest ever." RISING TO THE CHALLENGE
On a dangerous network of ridges near Zion National Park, riders will have free reign to navigate their descent between a designated starting area and a finish line more than 1,000 vertical feet below. Thursday and Friday are open practice days for the athletes, allowing them to scout their lines, size up the thirty-plus foot gaps and cliff drops, and practice their tricks. On Saturday, each of the 28 invited riders will take two runs; their best single-run scores will determine the top 14 who will advance to Sunday's final. The 14 finalists will run two more descents on Sunday, with their best score determining the overall winner. In addition, the Utah Sports Commission will also present a Red Bull Rampage Best Trick award on Sunday.PUSHING FORWARD
Competitors will be judged on style, amplitude, fluidity, and difficulty of line, and with a $25,000 prize purse up for grabs, playing it conservative is not a strategy option. Will past champs like Cedric Gracia (France) or Kyle Strait (USA) stand on the podium again, or will a dark horse emerge with new tricks or a gutsy line down the mountain that makes everyone re-think what is possible on a mountain bike? Regardless of who emerges on top, Red Bull Rampage: The Evolution will once again expand the frontiers of the sport.http://www.redbullrampage.com