Photo Epic: Campage - Red Bull Rampage 2023

Oct 15, 2023 at 12:12
by Izzy Lidsky  

Finals day in Virgin, Utah, thankfully brought favourable weather as the wind played little part in the amazing spectacle of this year’s Rampage. Rider after rider laid down incredible displays of skill with some jaw-dropping lines built into the red cliffs.

With the first runs out of the way, it was Tom Van Steenbergen who led Carson Storch by a slim margin of two points, sharing most of a line that the judges rewarded highly. Brendan Fairclough’s unique and raw line over the terrifying Battleship and canyon gap suicide sat in third before Emil Johansson’s slopestyle-inspired sends took fourth. Sadly Szymon Godziek took a huge spill before his run could really get going, we have heard he has dislocated his wrist from the crash. We wish Szymon all the best with his recovery.

Unlike the 2022 competition, the wind continued to play nice and let riders head back up to the top for one final run to improve their scores. Talus Turk was the first rider to bump their score after crashing earlier in the day, his near-flawless run saw him score an 84 from the judges. Next up was Cam Zink who managed to keep it all together through a brutally steep top section, send (probably) the biggest backflip drop of all time off the updated Icon sender, as well as a huge three drop below, moving to the top of the leaderboard with a massive 95, the third-highest score in Rampage history.

Following Cam, Clemens went down hard sending his double drop way too deep, blowing a hand off, and sustaining a huge impact in the flat bottom. He has a minor hand injury but is thankfully largely okay. From there, most of the riders were able to slightly improve their scores but nothing that changed their overall placement. With just Carson Storch and Tom Van Steenbergen to go, the pair decided they were happy with 2nd and 3rd so gave the crowd the wildest party lap of all time to close the book on another Rampage.

You can see the replay here, final results here, and all our Red Bull Rampage coverage here.

Hallowed playground.

A heavy rider's meeting beforehand.

Adolf Silva supermanning in practice
Adolf Silva laying it out on the ridge.
Sorge bikes
Kurt Sorge turning heads.

Talus lining things up
Talus Turk checking the run in on his big drop.

Szymon Godziek had an amazing run going before getting blown sideways tricking into his lillypad drop and crashing moments after this.
The humans of Rampage got very quiet after Godziek's crash, before a HUGE cheer when he got up.

Huge extension on Jaxson Riddle's first run.

Jaxson Riddle wild as always. It seemed like he pulled the plug on his second run early, and took the most stylish way down the hill instead.

Brendog's Battleship may not have the amplitude of some other hits on the mountain, but the precision and consequences were enormous.

Brendog with a suicide on the canyon gap en route to fourth place. There was a rumour he was thinking about a flip here, but he wisely opted not to take a second run.

Tom Van Steenbergen's massive step down backflip. His line had everything needed for a Rampage podium: a terrifying caveman into the steeps at the top, some creative line management, a huge 3 drop, an even bigger flip drop, and savage, confident style. Love to see it.

One Emil Johansson s many bar spins
One of Emil Johansson's wild tailwhip drops. We think this one was regular and the other was opposite, but don't hold us to it. Emil had an amazing final run going before a minor crash at the bottom, and we're excited to see him at Rampage and other big mountain competitions in the future.

Tommy G going huge on his flat drop spin
Tommy G's huge three drop. The Rampage vet didn't quite get what he was looking for this year, but it's always a pleasure to watch him ride.

Tommy G in the snake pit, stylish as always.

Adolf Silva s double backflip
Adolf Silva's double backflip.

Carson s flat 3
One of two huge three drops in Carson Storch's run.

Carson Storch whipping off his transfer jump
Carson stylish on the deceivingly big transfer.

DJ with one of several big three drops.

DJ with a big no-can drop in the lower part of his line.

Bienvenido's top section was a bit "too chill" for the judges, but he scored big with his flip into the lilypad...

...into this HUGE frontflip over the canyon gap won the hearts of viewers everywhere, and a well deserved Best Trick award, McGazza spirit award, and Viewers' Choice award.

Reed Boggs' three drop on his Ancient Aliens feature needed a sniper landing.

Reed Boggs riding off cliffs
Reed Boggs pulling back off his big drop.
Kyle Strait always has one of the fastest, most powerful ways down the mountain.

Kyle Strait suicides off the Icon Sender

Talus Turk s backflip can
Talus Turk's backflip can came out of nowhere, and the Rampage rookie was rewarded with a 5th place for an incredible run.

Talus's huge super flip put an exclamation point on his run.

Cam Zink kicking up some dust
The top of Cam Zink's line is incredibly tech. It might not translate to the TV screen, but after Tom's caveman and Brendan's battleship, this is probably the third most disgusting line off the top.

Cam Zink s winning backflip
Another angle of Cam Zink's backflip off the Icon sender en route to victory.

Clemens nailed this double drop in practice, and greased the canyon directly afterwards, but...
...sent it too deep in finals and took a brutal impact. Everyone was relieved to see him up relatively unscathed soon after.

Kyle Strait won the Toughness Award
Kyle Strait won the Toughness Award. He said he's not tough, but the mental fortitude required to come back after breaking his back on the same line last year is something special.
Bienvenido Aguado won the McGazza Spirit award Best Trick People s Choice Award
Bienvenido Aguado won the McGazza Spirit award, Best Trick, & People's Choice Award. Well deserved, and we love that he earned it doing a frontflip over the same canyon as Kelly's legendary backflip.

Cam Zink, Carson Storch, Tom Van Steenbergen; your 2023 Rampage podium.

Careful, you'll end up in the splash zone if you get too close to the podium.

Congrats, champ.

Cheers from Hank
Celebrations in full effect, cheers Hank.

The sun sets on another incredible Rampage. It's been a privilege!

Author Info:
izzylidsky avatar

Member since Nov 5, 2020
6 articles

  • 148 18
 Three things are certain:
Brendog getting f'ing robbed in the desert.
  • 10 1
 We need a set of judges
  • 50 79
flag scott-townes (Oct 15, 2023 at 16:29) (Below Threshold)
 Three things are certain:
Members on Pinkbike bitching because they don't understand how Rampage is judged or the insane lines these riders are hitting at the top.
  • 14 26
flag slackedmtb (Oct 15, 2023 at 16:54) (Below Threshold)
 @scott-townes: most likely they live in areas where they have park jumps but no chance of learning how to ride technical steeps. So they don't understand because it's not relatable. Park rats. There's always more of them vs freeriders.
  • 23 7
 @scott-townes: which is why brendog should've had a higher score... ‍♂️
  • 17 8
 @dmanvan: And he could have scored higher if he stomped a full run. He admits on his instagram he skipped a 360 at the bottom and then he didn't do his 2nd run. He had the opportunity to get a 95+ score. He opted out. The right man won. And Brendog is completely happy with the result.
  • 10 2
 @scott-townes: dude seriously, are you paid for, associated, bro's or a redbull employee?
  • 2 0
 Who are the judges? Do the riders give their run ahead of time, like Olympic gymnasts and divers, so they know what to look for?
  • 11 2
 @slackedmtb:Only because He's modest. He understands the ramifications if he we're to publicly protest, voicing his feelings about his score; thus, only to get chastised like (@scott-towens) does constantly, lol.

Bienvenido did two runs..exactly the same, not throwing in anything more aggressive at the top of his run to shoot for a higher score but executed both runs almost flawlessly.

TVS and Carson both opted out of a proper second run to increase score as well but instead they chose to party train the mountain in a display of an early 2nd and 3rd place secured scores. Rolleyes

This is the duty of Us fans that witnessed the erroneous scores given and voice our opinions in protest on his behalf. Brendog got robbed again as well as Bienvenido !! Facepalm 2 cents
  • 3 37
flag slackedmtb (Oct 15, 2023 at 19:52) (Below Threshold)
 @likeittacky: No. It's because he didn't take his 2nd run. He quit. Threw in the towel. Didn't have the mental fortitude to overcome fear and throw down a better run. Fair enough. Know when you are beat. That's commendable.

It's Rampage. It's a subjective event. Protest all you want. Brendog didn't take a 2nd run. And that's called walking away from the table and folding your cards. Game over.
  • 8 2
 @slackedmtb: Dude he gets robbed every time, so why go to that point when you already did what you set out to do with fortitude, tenacity and huge balls! Watch his corral interview after the run, it was his daughters first birthday and he also explained the mad exposure on the battleship was heavy on his mind the night before, so why risk it when it's evident another run most likely wouldn't be higher.

When have you set out to do something on bike so terrifying and sleep like a baby the night before? You're desensitized apparently to the reality of such treacherous endeavors!

He rides a Gambler, "He knows when to hold em and knows when to fold em". Hence, does not necessarily mean a loss; but wisdom to see a higher score over 95 is highly unlikely, considering the history of high scores at RBR have only been in the 95's twice (2014 / 2015)!
  • 5 20
flag slackedmtb (Oct 15, 2023 at 20:09) (Below Threshold)
 @likeittacky: So he's not willing to go to the level of Rampage to win. He's not getting robbed. He's not doing what the judges want. Cool his fans support him. But if you want to win a contest that is judged, you need to please the judges not the fans. He didn't win. The judges didn't like his park jump filled run with 2 backflips and a no hander. The battleship was tech and fun to see. He wasn't robbed. He chose to ride his own ride and make himself happy. 4th place is where he lands.
  • 5 0
 @slackedmtb: Ok than, tell that to the other 6500 PBers and growing.. who voted as I did and have the exact same sentiments. Have a good evening and happy shredding!
  • 4 8
flag slackedmtb (Oct 15, 2023 at 20:32) (Below Threshold)
 @likeittacky: they can not watch the event? It's not for core MTB types anyway. It's for 12 year kids who buy red bull and aren't emotionally invested in the sport. 6800 of 3 Million+ views. Hate to tell you. No one cares about Pinkbike in the real world.
  • 15 0
 @likeittacky: it’s been obvious for years that the Pinkbike community isn’t seeing what the judges are seeing. Having been to and even ridden a bit of the older venues, I can say the broadcast simply does not allow people to fully understand the differences between all these lines. I’m not saying the judging is perfect or always right. I would do it differently. But the idea that these guys are just morons year after year… it’s absurd.
  • 1 0
 @slackedmtb: yeah good. Points I do believe that he should have been a little higher but not necessarily won it. I just mean there were a couple of riders who were just above him , who when you watch the pov's , IMHO don't deserve to be there .
  • 1 6
flag slackedmtb (Oct 16, 2023 at 7:55) (Below Threshold)
 @dmanvan: Brendogs line wasn't as crazy as the lilly pad into the gap. The battleship was nuts but it's slow tech so i don't think it scored as high.
  • 1 1
 @BiNARYBiKE: Where did i say that the judges were morons? I've said more than a few times here on PB, that people like you have a bad tendency to distort what others have actually said. Quit Doing That!

To talk about the scores given to riders that didn't deserve a high score or the other way around, as in this case, does not deem the judges to be incompetent or morons but does point out that for some reason the scoring has been and continues to be flawed. Thus, rendering undeserved positions for the entire field.
  • 2 0
 @likeittacky: I wasn’t referring to you specifically. Just the general consensus around here year after year. Plus a touch of hyperbole. Smile

Again, the judges are obviously seeing things that most in the PB community aren’t. Doesn’t mean they’re wrong. I do think they either need to better educate the community on why they score the way they do or change their system so the community isn’t so annoyed every time. It’s not good for anyone to have all this negativity year after year. Seems to me like it would be super easy to fix. For example, have the riders vote on who was best. Or have live judging from the community. Or assign each line a score ahead of time and explain why those lines rank where they do, then award points beyond that according to how the line was ridden. It really is silly that this argument happens every year. But I still think it’s a mistake to dismiss the judges so hastily. Most people on Pinkbike have no idea what these lines are like in real life. I’ve noticed multiple professional riders who have said that Zink deserved the win. Maybe they understand some things the rest of us don’t?
  • 1 4
 @slackedmtb: The size of the bandwagon you hopped on doesn't make your opinion any less ignorant. At least we know where the mob mentality is coming from. "A lot of people agree with me! yay!" LOL jesus christ.
  • 1 0
 @BiNARYBiKE: It's negativity to you where to others its speaking up for what they have witnessed and translating that into words which can be debated. The ideas you propose with judging are ideas myself has pondered as well as many others. I will say this, I personally do not believe that the judges have any better ability or special talents that make judging any special thing, over than what passionate viewers of the sport do. It's just a fact, every sport that requires judging to determine a winner will somehow always be flawed.

The coverage is pretty darn good and in high resolution screen in the living room, I say that renders a better quality screen to view and dissect runs,. over what they are using in that box in the middle of the desert. Just leave the judges at home or in a place where reception, screen resolution will be paramont with much better quality; maybe, who knows.! Next
  • 4 0
 @scott-townes: the only person who agrees with you and you blast them. Are you a bot?
  • 57 0
 Man, Talus had such an impressive rookie debut!
  • 11 1
 And he dropped the c bomb on live broadcast, absolutely legendary!
  • 17 1
 Thanks, photos help understand the scores .. congratulations to all that got a clean run in.
  • 15 0
 That's a great set of photos, and I really like the picture of Tommy G.
  • 13 1
 Rampage is a tough event to shoot, and Alexa and Izzy killed it all week.
  • 6 0
 Not much conversation about Emil doing the stuff that makes him famous but scoring lower in a different platform. A few years ago people talked about how single crown forks will kill or revolutionize Rampage. It seems spin-ny stuff will not score well.
  • 1 1
 With some more time it will. We either get more spinny stuff or more people seriously injured like gee
  • 10 0
 My daughter: "I'm glad that Corn Starch got a podium...."
  • 7 1
 I really enjoyed Jaxon Riddle's runs. Less scary to watch, and super smooth and stylish. I'm not saying he deserved to be scored higher, but of all the competitors, he's the one I wish I could ride more like.
  • 8 4
  • 5 0
 Any video of Clemens practise run? ” Clemens nailed this double drop in practice, and greased the canyon directly afterwards, but...”
  • 2 0
 To my eyes, photos shot from the ground instantly reframe the riding and terrain as bigger than it looked in the video shot from above in the broadcast. The broadcast was a few minutes of awesome (not all in a good way) cut with three hours of filler. The quick edits for social media consumption take something epic and humbling and trivialize it so it fits right beside a kitten rolling off a table top or somebody hitting themself in the dick with a rake
  • 2 0
 One of the best live events I've ever watched .ever. . . Seeing the emotion of the runs .. favourite was zink on his second run just talking and having the best interview not even knowing he just won, then finding out he was current score to beat.... followed up closely by the dudes at the top deciding to train it rather than die trying to get the win...
  • 4 0
 Izzy, any news with Szymon condition? Haven't seen any reports yet. Great photos BTW!
  • 11 0
 Dislocated wrist and a hard impact, but he was in good spirits at the event.
  • 4 0
 @brianpark: Fantastic news! That head on impact looked devastating!
  • 2 0
 @brianpark: Thanks for the update! I'd be shocked if he and Clemens avoided concussions, but both seemed ok in interviews. If so, might be time to drop some $$$ on a Leatt helmet.
  • 7 0
 @NickMT: seems unlikely either of them escaped without a concussion, and it did look like both of them were momentarily unconscious, but yeah. I’m not exactly scientific in ascribing safety to Leatt here, but given how bad it looked like it could have been… damn.
  • 4 0
 Kyle Strait , the only pro MTB rider in the 100kg division. Of course he’s fast it’s called momentum. Love that guy!
  • 1 0
 A week before some wrote that Kylie and Cam must retire. This year judges changed the way they count points and didn't give much attention to bottom slopstyle tricks than massive upper huge drop-tricks and we saw Cam Zink coming first. I beleive that the proper judgment is in the middle.
  • 1 0
 I'd love to see an overlay picture from those aerial photos of the slopestyle lines with all the riders shown on their lines. It'd be cool to see a visual on how everyone did their different features at the same time
  • 2 0
 Killer photo work PB crew! As always, the still shots capture the scale and insanity of this event way more than video ever could.
  • 2 0
 I'd love an explainer article on how this event is judged. I know which runs impressed me the most but they weren't the winning runs. Based on the comments I am not alone.
  • 1 0
 Why didn't fairclough take a second run....?... I was baffled when he wasn't in the running order...
  • 1 0
 I'm amazed every time i watch it
  • 2 0
 Aguado all day!!!!
  • 2 0
 Brenpage > Campage
  • 2 0
 What is Campage?
  • 2 1
 The winner...Cam Zink Rampage = Campage
  • 3 3
 Urban rampage with rooftop backflips next year please

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