True Grit - Red Bull Rampage 2016







Water was the main focus at 8am this morning when builders and athletes arrived on site. Robbie Bourdon and Adam Billinghurst were in high demand as they pumped water into two huge tanks on the back of a side-by-side and ran it up and down the canyon. With the wind up, the dry dislodged earth was whipping up in bursts off the ridges surrounding the venue creating the post-apocalyptic feel we’ve come to expect from Rampage.

bigquotesI like the new site. It's kind of funny how people have always said that history repeats itself and it's like we've gone back to the kind of older style of riding where it's all natural. It's really good because the new generation of Rampagers; the kids, they're figuring out what the old guys had to go through.
- Bender

With the last build day at hand, crews were hard at work to connect the bigger features together on some lines, while packing in landings and sculpting lips on others. With the mix of wind, labour, and the vastness of the canyon, the cheers that signal a rider dropping were sporadic throughout the morning, but became increasingly frequent after lunch as darkness closed the window for practice.

Shutting down the venue once again, the athletes took every opportunity they could to practice, riding until the moon rose over the ridge. As a spectator, the experience feels very much like an evening at the dirt jumps, but on a much greater scale and with much higher consequences. As we all left the hill together, snaking out on the road in the pitch black through the dust and over the bumps – the anticipation for what’s to come tomorrow was palpable. All we know is that these athletes are about to throw down runs that none of us could even contemplate.

Sky Pilot
Sky Pilot

Robbie Bourdon spritzing the up track.
Robbie Bourdon spritzing the up track.
Construction was still ongoing today.
Construction was still ongoing today.

brush stroke on canvas an anonymous line near the bottom of the Rampage course.
Brush stroke on canvas: an anonymous line near the bottom of the Rampage course.

Remy Metailler probably didn t get too much sleep this week but today he nailed every single big bertha on his line which should allow a quality 40 winks before finals.
Remy Metailler probably didn't get too much sleep this week, but today he nailed every single big bertha on his line, which should allow a quality 40 winks before finals.

T-mac laying wrongs to right on the monster drop that took out Bingelli.
T-Mac laying wrongs to right on the monster drop that took out Binggeli.

T-mac attack.
T-mac attack.
T-Mac boosting down the mountain.
T-Mac boosting down the mountain.

Antione Bizet blasting through the moto woops.
Antoine Bizet blasting through the moto whoops.

Binggeli checking out his drop.
Binggeli checking out his drop.

Logan Binggeli let out a shriek right at about now when he realized he wasn t going to make the landing that was heard through the entire venue.
Logan Binggeli let out a shriek right at about now when he realized he wasn't going to make the landing that was heard through the entire venue.
Logan Binggeli stacked and tumbled hard off his big drop. He seems to be alright and will most likely ride tomorrow.
Logan Binggeli stacked and tumbled hard off his big drop. He seems to be alright and will most likely ride tomorrow.

Logan Bingelli took a terrifying fall pioneering the second of the massive drops he shares with T-mac and Bearclaw. He cased the landing fiercely and tomahawked to the bottom extrememly lucky to walk away.
Logan Binggeli took a terrifying fall pioneering the second of the massive drops he shares with T-mac and Bearclaw. He cased the landing fiercely and tomahawked to the bottom, extremely lucky to walk away.

Brett Rheeder sending down the mountain early morning.
Brett Rheeder sending down the mountain early morning.

Brett Rheeder drifting in a way most people really can only dream of....
Brett Rheeder drifting in a way most people really can only dream of....
...and then casually backflipping the next drop.
...and then casually backflipping the next drop.

Rheeder pausing for thought in the middle of a long day of hard laps under the Utah sun..
Rheeder pausing for thought in the middle of a long day of hard laps under the Utah sun.
Genon and Rheeder share such a large portion of their lines it s going to be a true battle of the big tricks to see who comes out on top.
Genon and Rheeder share such a large portion of their lines it's going to be a true battle of the big tricks to see who comes out on top.

Brett Rheeder might have just charged harder than anyone else today and will be looking forward to proving everybody who rates him as purely a slopestyler wrong.
Brett Rheeder might have just charged harder than anyone else today and will be looking forward to proving everybody who rates him as purely a slopestyler wrong.

Bizet following the trend today getting upside down.
Bizet following the trend today: getting upside down.
Fully inverted but there s a LOT of real estate left before the landing. For a reason. This is a double back. Bizet sending it to the next level.
Fully inverted but there's a LOT of real estate left before the landing. For a reason. This is a double back. Bizet sending it to the next level.

It was nuts out there today. Tea bags on top tubes for Bizet. NOT what anyone wants when landing a 25 foot step down.
It was nuts out there today for Bizet.

Tommy G has come a loooooong ways since his Crankworx win a few years back. This kid may not have wining run on hand here at Rampage but his line is definitely a podium contender
Tommy G has come a long ways since his Crankworx win a few years back. His line is definitely a podium contender.
Tommy G with the flat spin 3.
Tommy G with the flat spin 3.

Tommy G dropping off the end of the fin.
Tommy G dropping off the end of the fin.

Tommy G had a big day but surely the real moves are for tomorrow.
Tommy G had a big day, but surely the real moves are for tomorrow.

As wild as his reputation is Andreu is one of the most calculated riders on the mountain. Every big feature gets more speed checks than anyone else.
As wild as his reputation is, Andreu is one of the most calculated riders on the mountain. Every big feature gets more speed checks than anyone else.

Rheeder going top to bottom.
Rheeder going top to bottom.

Storch on the goblin. There is NOTHING like this in Bend OR so I ve no idea how Storch trains for stuff like this. Shit I ve no idea how anyone trains for stuff like this.
Storch on the goblin. There is NOTHING like this in Bend, OR, so I've no idea how Storch trains for stuff like this. Shit, I've no idea how anyone trains for stuff like this.

Big air buds Aggy and Sorge built and rode just about everything on their lines together.
Big air buds, Aggy and Sorge built and rode just about everything on their lines together.

Aggy channeling that line choice.
Aggy channeling that line choice.

Aggy blasting.
Aggy blasting.
Aggy blasting down his line off a hip stepdown.
Aggy blasting down his line off a hip stepdown.

Where s Aggy Just follow the smoke trail...
Where's Aggy? Just follow the smoke trail...

Aggy going airborn.
Aggy going airborn.

A is for amplitude. And Aggy.
A is for amplitude. And Aggy.

Aggy stomped the upper part of his line and now time to keep working down.
Aggy stomped the upper part of his line and now time to keep working down.

Sorge sending it. Yes this IS as big as it looks.
Sorge sending it. Yes, this IS as big as it looks.

Aggy watches on to Kurt Sorge hitting their stepdown.
Aggy watches on to Kurt Sorge hitting their stepdown.
Last years winner Kurt Sorge looking on point and charging hard. Overshot this one on the first round and stomped it the next.
Last year's winner, Kurt Sorge looking on point and charging hard. Overshot this one on the first round and stomped it the next.

Can Sorge go the distance all over again for the three-peat His line has the legs for sure but of course this year more than ever it s going to take something extra special thrown into the mix.
Can Sorge go the distance all over again for the three-peat? His line has the legs for sure, but of course this year, more than ever, it's going to take something extra special thrown into the mix.

Richie Schley deciding if this his still his thing or not.
Richie Schley deciding if this is still his thing or not.

Lunch break during the heat of the day.
Lunch break during the heat of the day.

Connor McFarlane checking out his line and debating still riding tomorrow without much practice and in a lot of pain.
Connor McFarlane checking out his line and debating still riding tomorrow without much practice and in a lot of pain.

Norbs and Rheeder scoping.
Norbs and Rheeder scoping.

Kyle Norbraten getting the enormous drop-in out of the way ahead of the big show. What you don t see here is the exposure... Miss the catch berm and you are toast no bones about it.
Kyle Norbraten getting the enormous drop-in out of the way ahead of the big show. What you don't see here is the exposure, miss the catch berm and you are toast, no bones about it.

Rheeder on the shark fin.
Rheeder on the shark fin.
Norbs dropping the shark fin.
Norbs dropping the shark fin.

Norbs on his way home high above the surprisingly green fields of Utah.
Norbs on his way home, high above the surprisingly green fields of Utah.

Brett Rheeder dropping in hot off the ridge that he spent nearly half the afternoon with a few others mining rocks off of.
Brett Rheeder dropping in hot off the ridge that he spent nearly half the afternoon with a few others mining rocks off of.
Brett Rheeder and Kyle Norbraten celebrating after both working on riding the first part of their lines today.
Brett Rheeder and Kyle Norbraten celebrating after both working on riding the first part of their lines today.

PEF diving into some of the wragged vert on his lower line.
PEF diving into some of the ragged vert on his lower line.

Pierre Edward Ferry did everyone a big favor today and went up to guinea-pig all the unridden gnar on the upper riders right ridges.
Pierre Edouard Ferry did everyone a big favor today and went up to guinea-pig all the unridden gnar on the upper riders right ridges.

Zink s first go... It was a slight case but he rode it out well.
Zink's first go... It was a slight case, but he rode it out well.

Zink dropping the massive step down above the road.
Zink dropping the massive step down above the road.
Zink dropping in to slay some demons on his canyon gap line.
Zink dropping in to slay some demons on his canyon gap line.

Cam Zink 1 footy off the top ridge and dropping right into this big sender. After a massive canyon gap bail yesterday Zink is back and ready to conquer.
Cam Zink 1 footy off the top ridge and dropping right into this big sender. After a massive canyon gap bail yesterday, Zink is back and ready to conquer.

Cam Zink testing the run-in to his main drop just one more time.
Cam Zink testing the run-in to his main drop just one more time.

Tomas Genon style for miles and silently looking liking one of the top contenders on the mountain.
Thomas Genon style for miles and silently looking liking one of the top contenders on the mountain.

Semenuk bounces off his lilly-pad and down perhaps another 6 meters... One of the most sickening features on the hill no question.
Semenuk bounces off his lily-pad and down perhaps another 6 meters... One of the most sickening features on the hill no question.

Brandon Semenuk dropping in hot off the ridge from a small drop that leads into this mega huck straight down the mountain.
Brandon Semenuk dropping in hot off the ridge from a small drop that leads into this mega huck straight down the mountain.

Justin Wyper celebrating after a successful build for Brandon Semenuk and all the digging finally over.
Justin Wyper celebrating after a successful build for Brandon Semenuk and all the digging finally over.

Brandon Semenuk all smiles after stomping his big drop off the ridge.
Brandon Semenuk all smiles after stomping his big drop off the ridge.
Tom Van Steenbergen heading up to test out his seriously large roll in.
Tom van Steenbergen heading up to test out his seriously large roll in.

A great day on the hill for Brandon Semenuk putting the laps in sessioning the lower slopes and taking a trip to the top to tick off a couple of monsters.
A great day on the hill for Brandon Semenuk, putting the laps in sessioning the lower slopes and taking a trip to the top to tick off a couple of monsters.

Brett Rheeder scrubbing into the final hoorah.
Brett Rheeder scrubbing into the final hoorah.

Tyler McCaul flipping off the ridge.
Tyler McCaul flipping off the ridge.
Antoine Bizet is looking good and ready for redemption on his run last year.
Antoine Bizet is looking good and ready for redemption on his run last year.

Carson Storch with a dirt exhaust tail soaring off the ridge.
Carson Storch with a dirt exhaust tail soaring off the ridge.

From afar it seems so tiny. A small peak dwarfed by the imensity of Gooseberry Mesa. But up close this crag is anything but tiny.
From afar, it seems so tiny. A small peak dwarfed by the immensity of Gooseberry Mesa. But up close, this crag is anything but tiny.

Tomorrow it s on.
Tomorrow it's on.

The long and winding and bumpy commute to the venue.
The long and winding (and bumpy) commute to the venue.

They call him The Claw ... Why Because he s a freakin bad-ass.
They call him 'The Claw'... Why? Because he's a freakin' bad-ass.

Bizet and his sleeves chock-full of tricks for your viewing pleasure.
Bizet and his sleeves, chock-full of tricks for your viewing pleasure.

Bizet and Genon plan the French revolution ahead of the big day.
Bizet and Genon plan the French revolution ahead of the big day.
7 or 8 speed checks at sunset for Bizet on this sender and you start to wonder if all these crazy riders might just be exceptionally talented athletes .
7 or 8-speed checks at sunset for Bizet on this sender and you start to wonder if all these 'crazy riders' might just be 'exceptionally talented athletes'.

Movie set views for days...
Movie set views for days...

Graham Agassiz sending in the last light off the big stepdown at the bottom of his run.
Graham Agassiz sending in the last light off the big stepdown at the bottom of his run.

Some people always save the best till last... We can t wait to find out what some folks have in store for tomorrow.
Some people always save the best till last... We can't wait to find out what some folks have in store for tomorrow.

A final dig for Rampage gold the morning before finals.
One last dig for Rampage gold... Ladies and gentlemen, finals are upon us.

True Grit - Red Bull Rampage 2016
True Grit - Red Bull Rampage 2016

Just after sundown and Tom Van Steengbergen sent his insane line next to Semenuk s... Do you think he nailed it
Just after sundown and Tom van Steenbergen sent his insane line next to Semenuk's... Do you think he nailed it?

Stoke is high this year.... even by Rampage standards.
Stoke is high this year.... even by Rampage standards.


MENTIONS: @dbaker / @parisgore / @redbullbike / @natedh9 / @meagerdude




53 Comments

  • 43 0
 Keep getting that scared feeling just looking at all these shots! Then I remember cameras usually don't do justice and my mind gets completely blown!!
  • 19 0
 I'll take this article as a calendar pink bike. thanks....
  • 12 0
 counting down the hours! Not much work getting done in the office today... outstanding pics once again
  • 1 0
 buzzing for it now mate
  • 10 0
 I work in a nuclear plant and I'm watching this live! To hell with work!
  • 3 0
 hopefully not to hell with the nuclear plant!
  • 10 0
 Homer, is that you???
  • 2 0
 @JUGIZMO: Need beers. Someone else is probably running things. Moar important shit ta do! RAMPAAAAAAAGE!!
  • 2 0
 3 hours and we are live!! Big Grin

Looks crazy and proper people judging this should be a sick even!

Still super impressed (besides all the gnarly riders we are getting used to) that Remy went from park rat to two time Rampage participant with, what looks like, massive drops as well,huge respect! Smile
  • 2 0
 Well said Bender, I myself am one of the old guys,,48,,but I love it so much I can't help myself not to send it,,,and believe me I have a bucket list of broken bones..no regrets though...the times spent riding and pinning it are by far my best memories....these guys are my hero's ...F work today!
  • 5 0
 "Brandon Semenuk all smiles after stomping his big drop off the ridge." Yea he's just a big bag of happiness there.
  • 6 5
 Seriously worried about the safety of some of the building there, lot's of catch berms/landings and take offs showing sign of subsidence.

www.pinkbike.com/photo/14046276 I mean look at this catch berm, to me it looks ready to collapse with those two huge cracks right the way across...

Hope nothing goes wrong but some it looks real shady to me.
  • 6 3
 These guys spent half their lives building stuff like that... I think they know what they're doing.
  • 5 1
 I'm not denying they know what they are doing and they are obviously skilled builders, but maybe even as talented builders as they are, the terrain and dirt and what is being asked of it is too much in some cases ?
  • 1 0
 @bigburd: its reinforced by sandbags that weigh a few pounds each, its solid.
  • 15 15
 "I like the new site. It's kind of funny how people have always said that history repeats itself and it's like we've gone back to the kind of older style of riding where it's all natural."

All natural ? I don't think so, ok there is maybe less artificial features than past years nevertheless they spent all the week to shape so they can't say after that it's all natural.

I have nothing against shaping even more I think it's important for the safety and the show but just don't sell it like it's all natural.
  • 5 6
 I made a similar comment the other day. There is nothing natural about what's these guys are riding other than everything being made out of dirt. Every Run is buffed to the point that most guys don't even run a chain guide or bashguards, landings that were non existent before being built out of hundreds of sand bags, and perfectly sculpted lips and landings all over the lot. Like you I think it's awesome but the whole idea that people were ever mad about the wood features of past years was silly.
  • 6 0
 @sino428: Yeh but the riders can now chose where to put the features on there lines and aren't forced into building lines around hitting the pre-built wooden features for the point rewards. It makes the contest way better.
  • 5 0
 @sino428: Have ever tried to ride your bike down a mountain not on a trail? Doesn't work very well.

You expect these guys to flip and spin these jumps and step downs on to a pile of rocks? Of course the lips and landings are buffed.
  • 6 0
 I think that's way too semantic. To someone who has never seen rampage they may wonder what force of nature builds trails. To those of us who know rampage and have followed we all know what they are saying when they say natural. What is the point of arguing silly semantics?
  • 1 0
 @bjam: Where did I say I expected them not to build this stuff? You are just making stuff up. I am perfectly fine with what they are doing out there, its great. I just said its silly to claim everything as now "all natural", just because they took out a couple of wood features.
  • 1 0
 @chilli06: The riders were never forced to hit the big wood features. Look at the top 3 runs from last year (Sorge, Andreu, and Aggy), none hit the biggest wood features like the canyon gap. Each only hit one, which was the big step up/hip at the bottom. Their scores were given because of the big drops/tricks they did at the top of their runs, not because they hit one wood ramp at the bottom.

Same in 2014, Andreu won with a very similar run only hitting one wood jump on the bottom. Zink did not hit any wooden features and got 2nd because he took a ridiculous steep line right down the middle then landed a 360 off a huge 'natural' drop, and Semunek got third with a run where similar to many other guys he only hit the one wooden jump at the bottom.

The results just don't support your theory that they had to hit these features to score big. Most guys did hit the one large wood jump near the bottom but that's because it was a flat area and there was no opportunity to build anything big down there themselves. You are also forgetting that in the past, when the field was larger, there were alot of riders who didn't have the resources to bring a huge build team and would not have had the opportunity to go as big without the help of the pre-built features.
  • 3 0
 The "four amigos" ridge gap is a piece of art ... look at this landing !!!!!
  • 6 3
 so many potential winners there but something tells me Aggy's gonna destroy it
  • 2 0
 Those are some of the most breathtaking and captivating images I have ever seen. Not just mtb related but of any subject, Period. Great job Pinkbike.
  • 2 0
 is it wrong I get nervous just looking at the images and I ain't even riding any of it?
  • 2 0
 Tommy G Sender with THAT paintjob is easily the most gorgeous bike out there.
  • 1 0
 My money's on Tom Van Steenbergen, but good luck to all of the riders. I just pray that everyone makes it down the mountain in one piece!
  • 3 1
 I am here and ready!!!30 beers ready tooSmile
  • 2 0
 that is what no fk's given looks like
  • 2 0
 I can't believe how big those drops are!
  • 2 0
 the real question on everyone's minds: Is ritchie schley driving too fast?
  • 1 0
 If McFarlane manages to get his run he has this one on the bag! Even Lacondeguy said that it's way to crazy!
  • 2 0
 Do his friends still call him Norby?
  • 1 0
 This is classic Big Grin
  • 1 0
 I think about my demons I face on the trail...... they are baby food compared to the demons these guys have.
  • 1 0
 Anybody knows why Nico Vink isn`t riding?
  • 2 0
 Judging!
  • 1 0
 @sadfusde: I know he is a judge, but why isn`t he riding instead?
  • 1 0
 Tons of respect to those riders! Wish I could give props to them lol
  • 1 0
 Hope Fairclough is well enough to ride!
  • 1 0
 Does Remy Guinea pig his whole line clipped in with all that wind?
  • 1 0
 Look! Rheeder is using the exploding shock
  • 1 0
 can't wait!
  • 2 1
 Thomas Genon
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