Riders in the Sky - Red Bull Rampage 2017

Oct 26, 2017
by Danielle Baker  
2017 Red Bull Rampage

Standing at the base of the Red Bull Rampage site and seeing all the lines etched by the builders in the massive cliffs, you can’t help but feel like you’ve walked on to the set of an Indiana Jones movie. Dozens of bodies dwarfed by the sheer size of the canyon busily moved around the site as though they are working hard to uncover ancient treasure or build the eighth wonder of the world. After a week of hard work and long days, some were putting the final touches on their lines, while others were rebuilding sections from scratch.

Morning light at Rampage
Morning light at Rampage

Good morning time to go to work.
Good morning, time to go to work.

The sculpture garden from above.
The sculpture garden from above.

The ol trundle trick.
The ol' trundle trick.
R-Dog taking a tinkle to mark his territory on a line he has largely borrowed from PEF last year.
R-Dog taking a tinkle to mark his territory on a line he has largely borrowed from PEF last year.

Enviable water pressure for groundskeeper Zink.
Enviable water pressure for groundskeeper Zink.

Antoine Bizet hacking the finishing touches on the start of his line.
Antoine Bizet hacking the finishing touches on the start of his line.

Sometimes when you re as focused on your line as Carson Storch you forget about the following techno zombie horde trying to eat your brains.
Sometimes when you're as focused on your line as Carson Storch, you forget about the following techno-zombie horde trying to eat your brains.

Antoine Bizet’s crew were some of the not-so-lucky ones who were busy with a rebuild. After dedicating their first four days of digging to building a landing for a huge new step-up, the whole landing slid on Saturday. “But the guys are working so hard on it,” said Antoine today. “I still have no idea if we are going to be able to use the step-down or not, but we are 100% committed to making it happen.”

Rolling in from the top of his line.
Antoine rolling in from the top of his line.

Antoine Bizet barely notices the massive amount of exposure on his way from the top through the rest of his line.
Antoine Bizet barely notices the massive amount of exposure on his way from the top through the rest of his line.

The landing Antoine Bizet s crew of diggers originally built broke loose from the hillside and avalanched to the canyon floor below. Not to be discouraged they spent today furiously rebuilding. Will we see him send it tomorrow
The landing Antoine Bizet's crew of diggers originally built broke loose from the hillside and avalanched to the canyon floor below. Not to be discouraged, they spent today furiously rebuilding. Will we see him send it tomorrow?

The landing Antoine Bizet s crew of diggers originally built broke loose from the hillside and avalanched to the canyon floor below. Not to be discouraged they spent today furiously rebuilding. Will we see him send it tomorrow

Coming back from an injury, Antoine is going against the grain this year and sticking with most of his 2016 line. “I know it’s not the trend really, it’s cooler to have a new one for sure, but that’s how it is.” This puts extra pressure on the team to make this drop work as it is one of the few new sections he will hit – “the goal is to ride [my line] way better and faster and bigger than last year.” Towards the end of the day his team had made exceptional gains with some help from those who would have been Remy Metailler’s builders. “We didn’t know the final decision until yesterday so we have been digging his line in hopes that he would make it,” says Katie Holden “but there are other riders who use his take-offs and landings so it’s okay. Now our team is just trying to help out other teams that are having issues.”

2017 Red Bull Rampage

Kurt Sorge contemplates his drop.
Kurt Sorge contemplates his drop.
You can only contemplate so long. Action is the cure for analysis paralysis and Dr. Sorge is in.
You can only contemplate so long. Action is the cure for analysis paralysis and Dr. Sorge is in.

See Kurt spot. Stick Kurt stick he did.
See Kurt spot. Stick Kurt, stick, (he did.)

This may be Ethan Nell s inagural Rampage but he s no stranger to the sideways life.
This may be Ethan Nell's inaugural Rampage but he's no stranger to the sideways life.

Brandon Semenuk tees off the top of the course while testing the upper 3rd of his line.
Brandon Semenuk tees off the top of the course while testing the upper 3rd of his line.
2017 Red Bull Rampage

Tyler McCaul rides his f king bike.
Tyler McCaul rides his f#%king bike.
If Tyler McCaul had tied that laundry to his handlebars it would have aired out a lot quicker.
If Tyler McCaul had tied that laundry to his handlebars it would have aired out a lot quicker.

Vinny T was the first to charge this chute from the Ridgeline.
Vinny T was the first to charge this chute from the Ridgeline.
Vinny T was the first to charge this chute from the Ridgeline.

Tom Van Steenbergen drops it like it s hot although the weather was actually pretty pleasant.
Tom Van Steenbergen drops it like it's hot, although the weather was actually pretty pleasant.
Brett Rheeder can step down without the use of a handrail. He can also hit a step down without using his hands.
Brett Rheeder can step down without the use of a handrail. He can also hit a step down without using his hands.

2017 Red Bull Rampage
Margus Riga snipes Kyle Strait for Pan-Shot Friday.

Tippie s Rampage trivia catches everyone out even vets like Richie Schley.
Tippie's Rampage trivia catches everyone out, even vets like Richie Schley.

First-timer Vinny T already looking fast loose and fully at home here in the Utah desert.
First-timer, Vinny T, already looking fast, loose and fully at home here in the Utah desert.

 Good to go boys . Vinny T after he came down the possibly steepest line at this year s Red Bull Rampage.
"Good to go boys". Vinny T after he came down the possibly steepest line at this year's Red Bull Rampage.

Rampage returns to the scene of 2016 crimes against gravity.
Rampage returns to the scene of 2016 crimes against gravity.
Storch pioneering his massive drop down towards the finish area.
Storch pioneering his massive drop down towards the finish area.

The Intern is about to take the most frightening ride down the Rampage course of all time.
The Intern is about to take the most frightening ride down the Rampage course of all time.

2017 Red Bull Rampage
Tommy G.

Nell making shapes for the people.
Nell making shapes for the people.

Connor Macfarlane ran into an issue today when he crashed on his drop, but he’s still way ahead of where he was last year. In 2016, he left Rampage battered and bruised after refusing to give up. His impressively positive attitude earned him the Kelly McGarry Spirit Award. This year he’s made some changes in his run in hopes to avoid the dramatic crashes and injuries this time around. “I drop off the ridge a little earlier and got rid of that big step-down because – well it worked and it didn’t work, but it didn’t help me sleep, so I got rid of that. [Today] I just pure and simple went too slow – and I guess last year I went way too far, which is hard to get out of your mind, so I didn’t go too far and I went that little bit short.” But Connor’s still feeling confident, “everything, apart from the drop that I crashed on today, is mint and I can session it and I was having fun, it was sweet.”

2017 Red Bull Rampage
Connor Macfarlane sessioning his upper line.

Australia s Connor Macfarlane stepped to this heavy drop and luckily stepped away shaken but not broken.
Connor Macfarlane stepped to this heavy drop and luckily, stepped away shaken but not broken.
Australia s Connor Macfarlane stepped to this heavy drop and luckily stepped away shaken but not broken.

Darren Berrecloth gave Connor some advice, “[he] just came up to me and was chatting about it – everyone’s like [that here] if they can help you out, they’re all for that, especially Bearclaw because he’s been here however many years and he knows what he’s doing.” Darren told him to build a “little skipper” before his drop to help him judge his speed. “Just so I can be ‘oh, I went a little bit far on the skipper before it, so I must be going a bit too fast.’” Connor took the afternoon off his bike, but will be back up sessioning tomorrow.

2017 Red Bull Rampage
The Claw.

Ethan Nell got amongst it today sessioning the ridgeline until dark.
Ethan Nell got amongst it today, sessioning the ridgeline until dark.
Rheeder floating like a butterfly stinging like a bee.
Rheeder floating like a butterfly, stinging like a bee.

Last year Zink fell into the canyon today it was Kyle s turn.
Last year Zink fell into the canyon, today it was Kyle's turn.

As with other years today, the first day of practice, held many highs and lows – like watching Cam Zink straight line his chute from the top or watching Kyle Strait crash on his canyon gap (he is okay). Red Bull Rampage continues to be the forum in which these incredible athletes can continue to grow the sport, not just through new and creative lines and tricks, but also through contributing to the growth and development of new riders along the way.

Man of steel Kyle Strait survived going into the void and finished out the evening session.
Man of steel, Kyle Strait, survived going into the void and finished out the evening session.
The desert is pretty when it s not trying to kill you.
The desert is pretty when it's not trying to kill you.

What is style Ethan Nell will tell ya.
What is style? Ethan Nell will tell ya.

2017 Red Bull Rampage

T-Mac getting ready to phone home.
T-Mac getting ready to phone home.



MENTIONS: @redbullbike / @Margus / @natedh9 / @TimZim



47 Comments

  • 82 2
 @Pinkbike It would interesting to have an article about the faceless heros of Rampage : the builders. At least some details about them, how they are assigned to riders, how they work....
  • 12 2
 Pretty sure that's been done before? Wouldn't hurt to see the guys from this year, I suppose?
  • 6 0
 Its down right amazing what these guys build. Mad props to all of them. Such a shame the lines are only ridden a handful of times.
  • 1 0
 Yes, Pleaassee !!
  • 1 0
 or how about the faceless heros of Rampage: the photographers
  • 35 0
 the rise of vinny T !! always knew he should be at rampage
  • 6 0
 Did you see the shot of him dropping that "chute" from the ridgeline? That may be the most terrifying shot I've ever seen.
  • 2 0
 It's so class! I have no idea why I'm a fan of Vinny T. I feel like he's the privateer hero we all wanna see do well. Especially as he's loose a f.
  • 4 0
 @jamesdunford: maybe because he is loose a f*ck
  • 1 0
 Isn't today thursday?
  • 27 1
 " Australia's Connor Macfarlane stepped to this heavy drop and luckily, stepped away shaken but not broken." Kiwis gonna go on a rampage
  • 10 0
 The more I look at that the more I wonder if it was an inside joke to see who'd take the bait first
  • 1 0
 @medievalbiking: you won mate cheers
  • 4 1
 Ugh, my bad on that. No disrespect intended! It’s fixed!
  • 1 0
 @TimZim: Thanks! You're no longer getting mauled by a bunch of feral kiwi birds Smile
  • 1 0
 @medievalbiking: I watched a few of those strip every windshield wiper blade off every car in the Craigieburn parking lot once. They don't mess around!
  • 1 0
 @TimZim: weren't they keas? They love rubber
  • 1 0
 Oh man, I’m just digging my hole deeper and deeper... Yes, I read Kiwi and responded with Kea. Ugh. @donpinpon29:
  • 13 0
 Vinny-T is a savage
  • 3 0
 Pfff looks like a slopestyle course to me ! (sarcasm)
But for real rampage is bigger, better and more badass than ever in my opinion! I can't f*cking wait for Friday !
  • 4 0
 The desert is never not trying to kill you!
  • 3 0
 Somebody needs to do an artical on just the digging and sculpting of this place! Beautiful!
  • 1 0
 Interesting to see how the photograph styles change year to year. this year is like the year of underexposure Wink Not complaining or saying it's bad, just noticing...
  • 1 0
 This is that one event of the year where I'm half excited because its such an amazing event but half really scared. Hoping everyone is safe, this year.
  • 3 0
 Riga's photos are siiiiiick
  • 2 0
 Ethan Nell rides that shit daily, stoked to see what he brings to the table this year!
  • 3 1
 "See Kurt spot. Stick Kurt, stick, (he did.)" Haha, so funny!
  • 2 0
 Nothing makes sense anymore
  • 1 0
 vinny T i am gonna name my first born after you.....wait i already did (true)
  • 1 3
 Connor Macfarlane obviously knows how to ride a bike like a madman, but he just keeps getting worked at Rampage... Isn't this the reason they aren't inviting Rogatkin to compete any longer? Because of all of the falls? Seems strange to allow one and not the other
  • 2 0
 Let's see some Tippie content at least! C/mon now......
  • 1 0
 this last picture, poy candidate? LOVE these shots.
  • 2 0
 MACFARLANE ANIMAL ! ! !
  • 1 0
 Glad to see rheeder doing a big MTB trick
  • 1 0
 What happend with R-Dog and Dakine?
  • 1 0
 ya nelllllll
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