Red Bull Rampage is the largest, most important freeride mountain bike event in the world. Rampage historically hasn't included a separate women's category, but Red Bull has been promoting the development of women's freeride through a non-competition event called Formation that's held on the same terrain. This year Formation was cancelled
, leading some to speculate that Rampage might include women. When the rider list came out last week
, we were disappointed to see neither a women's field nor a public plan to integrate women into the event.
Red Bull today has responded to our quest for comment with the following statement:
"Red Bull Rampage is the most difficult freeride mountain bike competition in the world. For this reason, a selection panel invites the best 18 riders globally to compete.
We are exploring with industry experts how we might develop a women’s category at Red Bull Rampage."
Parsing this, and with the caveat that it's just my personal interpretation, I'm cautiously optimistic that Red Bull is committing to having women at Rampage next year. For more insight and context into the issue, we did an interview with women's Rampage-hopeful Vaea Verbeeck
. I'd encourage everyone to read that for a lot more context and background to this.