Pinkbike Awards - 2015 Comeback of the Year Winner

Feb 2, 2016 at 23:55
by Pinkbike Staff  
new MTB awards logo 2015
Comeback of the Year Winner

Kurt Sorge's Victory at the Red Bull Rampage

Kurt Sorge's first Rampage win came in 2012 and after a number of adventures and disappointments, the Canadian freerider returned to stand beside Kyle Strait as the only two-time winners of freeride's crown jewel.

Sorge with a flip no hander on the RZR Jump.
Matt Delorme photo

Kurt Sorge is, by admission, a freerider to the bone, and has gone on record to say that the wholesale shift of freeride competition to slopestyle type events has diluted the concept of what freeride is and that fans deserve more. Well, the man puts his bike and his shovel where his mouth is - Sorge builds big, and he goes big. Early on, Kurt's raw style and volume earned him a string of slopestyle victories and video segments, capped off by a win at the 2012 Red Bull Rampage, where he had a chance to remind the slopestyle newbies in attendance how a big bike should be ridden. Sorge continued to compete in slopestyle events with some success, but his focus was on big mountain venues like Les Alps and the Rampage, a fact that led him to play a role in the founding of the FEST series in a successful attempt to raise the bar for freestyle and freeride athletes.
Kurt Sorge at RedBull Rampage 2015 Virgin Utah USA
Sterling Lorence photo

FEST was an instant success, Rampage was moved to a larger venue, and the Crankworx series expanded to three continents, which should have been heaven on earth for Sorge, but he was hampered by injuries and bad luck for nearly two seasons that culminated in his missing the 2014 Rampage with a broken leg just weeks before the contest. Sorge healed up and stayed healthy for 2015. Outwardly, he was all about the FEST series, but those who are close to him knew that the prize he was after was in October.

In spite of shifting winds and pressure from promoters to get the show in the can, Sorge smashed his line with the broad brush-strokes of a big-mountain freerider and highlighted it with FEST-sized tricks to earn the event's highest scoring victory. Kurt Sorge is back.

Kurt Sorge blasting the hip on his first and only winning Rampage run.
Paris Gore photo


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flag burnadette (Feb 3, 2016 at 10:48) (Below Threshold)
 Glad Sorge won. He deserved it. His run was better than everyone elses.
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flag torero (Feb 3, 2016 at 10:55) (Below Threshold)
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  • 176 14 - donate now!
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flag mattradical (Feb 3, 2016 at 11:31) (Below Threshold)
 really @SavageDonut ? Rampage rewards BIG LINES & BIG HITS Don't really care how many flippy spinny things one does. Cam McCall said it best, "Rampage is a Big Mountain contest" not a slopestyle contest. I would love to see Rampage put a clock on the riders as well. @kurtsorge and the FEST SERIES riders holding it down for FREERIDE! I don't hate on the slope riders, but place and time... and Rampage is NOT the place or time. I hope those who "got robbed" take note: GO BIG or GO HOME! Also, there can only be one "winner", but I think all those who rode in Rampage are winners. Even that whinny American Cam Zink.... He was over scored last year and under scored this year... show some class and keep your mouth shut.
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flag torero (Feb 3, 2016 at 11:36) (Below Threshold)
 +1000 props @mattradical
  • 201 5
 there should be a PB award for the most robbed.... then have Semenuk not win that either.
  • 71 6
 Why dies it matter that Semenuk got robbed?? Either way Kurt still had a sweet comeback from years of injury with a sick line at Rampage. Props to kurt!
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flag cunning-linguist (Feb 3, 2016 at 14:17) (Below Threshold)
 If I wanted a comeback I'd have scraped it off your mums teeth!!! ;-)
  • 20 2
 @mattradical did you even watch semenuk's run? He did go big, bigger than a lot of other people there and he also managed to fit in the big tricks. Do you think that just because he did tricks he must not have gone big? It maybe wasn't a winning run but he should have definitely been on the podium.
I'm by no means a semenuk fanboy, just giving my honest opinion.
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flag mattradical (Feb 3, 2016 at 15:23) (Below Threshold)
 Only a dozen times @Alex-2000 You know Brandon's run was awesome... it just wasn't a big mountain winning run. The judges stated as much. I don't understand how so many people have lost sight of what Rampage is all about. Props to all the riders. Even the whinny @camzink. I was hitting some twenty footers last week and I couldn't help but think how weak I was getting scared over those jumps. The Rampage riders are all proper Big Mountain riders... I am just tired of the complaining. If it was a JoyRide run, sure Brandon wins, but it's not, nor should it ever be. Sorge is the champ! He has had back to back winning runs at Rampage... BADDASS
  • 17 0
 No way sorge shouldnt have podiumed. I thought Lacon and Aggie did pretty damn good too.
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 HAHA, @fitjoani ... amazing, so glad to see a few fellow surfers on here Smile
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 Hey, @mattradical : if you're going to have the balls to call Cam Zink "whiny", you may want to learn how to spell it first. Also, I don't think I'm alone in seeing the irony of someone who "gets scared over twenty footers" telling all the slopestyle guys to "go big or go home". Right, dude... maybe next year you can judge the contest.
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flag Ryanrobinson1984 (Feb 3, 2016 at 16:42) (Below Threshold)
 Nigga GAWT dayuum!! Putting SavageDonut on blast, huh?? Guys, let's keep it civilized and respectful. Everyone should at least respect other's opinions..unless they're wrong and stupid.
  • 14 5
 Holy Hell...quite the bunch of neg proppin, dirt jump kid whiny bitches in this comment thread. Boo freakin Hoo...the DJ Kid didn't win. Big Mountain Freeride FTW...Sorge for the Comeback Win!
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 Unless they're wrong or stupid. I fully back that.
  • 4 2
 I would have scored it this way: Zink and Semenuk tie for 1st. Sorge, Aggy, and Lacondeguy tie for 2nd. I liked all of their runs, but I liked Zinks and Semenuks the most. Sorge threw down a motherf*cker, but he wasn't my first choice. Good for him, though!
  • 14 2
 How can anyone talk crap about Zink!? The guy can stomp 50+ feet vertical drop backflips. He's like a god compared to any of us.
  • 2 0
 @dtax, thanks for the laugh. 3 seconds of vacuum for my lungs
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  • 4 5
 Microsoft donates +3mil (?) to Cruz.

Microsoft tallies the votes. Donald gets robbed.

Literally got to be retarded to not see the conflict of interest...
  • 11 4
 No, no, no. Take it from me cus I was there. The only person who got robbed was Paul for obvious reasons. Luckily, he's possibly one of the only riders that could fight as hard as he has to take back what was taken from him. Sorge freerode the shit out of that drop, and who'd thought, his run which just so happened to be the most "freeride" won the freeride event. Way to go Sorge!! @torero, you must be a complete moron to think that Semenuk sucks at riding. Go home cus you're drunk. @mattradical got it pretty darn right. Im not sure if all the riders listened in the morning meeting but the judges specifically said they are looking for big mountain freeride. Besides racing, rampage may be the only other contest where tricks can lower a score. Replace whiny Zink with frustrated Zink and I agree 100% with you. Next year go in with a mindset that if your favorite rider isn't first, they've been robbed and there will be much less heartache and whiny bitchfacing from the spectators side. Lastly, if you don't agree with my opinion, you're wrong and stupid. #countdowntorampage2016
  • 9 0
 #igotrobbed please hmu if you know where my stolen bike is
  • 5 1
 @dirtworks911 Zinks run was pretty big mountain freeride. And tricks definitely do not lower your score. What place do you think Sorge would've gotten if he didn't do that backflip no hander?
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 Zinks runs was certainly big mountain, there is no question about that. I feel the thing that really lowered his score to the judges was that it was almost identical (certainly the upper half) to what he did the previous year. The judges knew this and I feel progression in big mountain lines was on the top of their list, comparing runs to previous years. Let me correct myself, doing tricks don't actually lower a score but when these tricks hold back riders from riding the gnarliest lines it does (for Rampage at least.) Many of these slope style riders are coming from an environment where if they straight air and don't trick a jump that destroys their chances of winning, and for slope style contests it should. Rampage is completely different than any slope style contest in the world though. I feel some of these riders thought hitting a less intense line and throwing a backflip or 360 in it would score just as well if not better than sending a straight air 70 foot stepdown (after all, they are used to that kind of format with slope style event) only to look at the score board and feel robbed. In short, rampage judges want to see the biggest, most progressive big mountain lines first, and tricks second.
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 Hitlery is a criminal x1000
Bernie is retarded or evil
Cruz is a sellout and lies too often
Rand was the dream prez
Trump is the best realistic option, even if 49% disagreeable
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 Clearly it's hard for people to keep it positive here. Congrats Sorge! Thanks for all you do for freeride. Cheers man.
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flag DylanDaSilva (Feb 3, 2016 at 10:34) (Below Threshold)
 Semenuk does more.
  • 14 7
 upping your vote @GOGRANDE !! Sorge won hands down! the fight for 2nd to 5th, it could have been anyone... shut up @dylandasilva
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flag DylanDaSilva (Feb 3, 2016 at 13:50) (Below Threshold)
 Haha I've never been begged that bad. Except for on this comment..
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flag DylanDaSilva (Feb 3, 2016 at 13:50) (Below Threshold)
 Shit negged, that just made it worse.
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 +1 gogrande
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 I like Sorge. He's a good humble guy with massive balls. If I were judging, I'd up score anyone like him. The less foul cryers the better.
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  • 76 1
 any other 2015 year awards please just get them out now
  • 37 0
 Right!!! It's February... really dragging it out.
  • 21 0
 btw... what did actually happen to the POY-voting?
  • 30 0
 Out of date award of the year goes to
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 Sorge's an amazing rider... Congrats!!!!
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  • 52 14
 Can't we just stop whining about semenuk all the time and appreciate other's achievement?
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  • 1 0
 way to less props!!
  • 38 5
 #norbsgotengaged ^^
  • 27 4
 Sorge's an awesome rider and his run was so clean & stylized. Congrats!!!

With that said, Semenuk's was so technical but he just made it look fun as hell. Should've been in the top 3. Just glad I get to watch these incredible runs over & over.
  • 9 8
 I'm a massive Sorge fan but there were better runs and a few more deserving.
  • 22 0
 I'd say Paul's road to recovery has been the biggest comeback, but I'm equally happy for Kurt.
  • 18 2
 Original Freeriders? Did you guys forget about everything that happened from '97-'03??
  • 17 5
 Zink was robbed more than Semenuk. But this run deserved a win. Semenuk did more tricks but on an easier line down.
  • 12 2
 Any of the guys in the top 5 could have won, but Sorge threw down a sick run that was fast and unique, I could care less who won, what matters is that all the riders threw down huge and gave us something to argue about...
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 I also could care less who won. This is really pissing me off. Sorge deserved it and tons of people are saying he didn't. Hate on someone else you bunch of idiots. If you really knew what you were talking about you'd be a judge yourself.
  • 13 2
 pb would decide to make it the one thing no one really liked hahaha, the outcome of rampage and the judging this year
  • 11 0
 Perhaps the 2016 Comeback of the Year should be awarded to Paul Bas. Pulling for you man!
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 Fine work Sorge......well deserved! Met you once way back in 2008 or 2009 I think it was on Shitacker and you and Buehler were two of the nicest kids I've ever guys represent Nelson and freeriding in the best possible light. Keep it up and congrats again!
  • 3 0
 Hey guys because you can't get over your Semenuk gripe, Red Bull just announced that if 100 more fanboys # about it they'll take Sorge's Rampage win away. For Christ's sake get over it already. We all know it's subjective judging stop acting like a bunch of figure skating fans.
  • 12 8
 to be honest, kurte is defently a good guy and he deserves everything, but especially in this case he didnĀ“t deserve the Rampage win and cause of this, not the award...
  • 31 25
 Semenuk was robbed
  • 8 4
 We get it. People got robbed and the judging sucked. No need to post it 10 times
  • 1 0
 Is there a correlation between "Trumpertantrums" and the incessant bitching and moaning in PB comments? Maybe not since they are using hashtags and he's more of a tweeter.

PB - I think Jared Graves comeback deserved mention in the article.
  • 1 0
 Not a big fan of judged events as its always one persons interpretation of that run, against another who may not think one line was as gnarly as another! Redbull hard line for me, pretty sweet track, drops & gaps against the clock... But that's only my opinion... & im a nobody!
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 Props to Sorge!
  • 4 0
 Are you going to milk these awards until 2017?
  • 5 2
 And the winner is... 26" wheels! Just kidding, they're not coming, they're dead.
  • 2 0
 I literally just laughed out loud.
  • 3 0
 There's too much salt in this thread.
  • 2 1
 A few people think Semminuk got robbed, but you guys seems to forget its about freeriding not slopestyling, big difference. That is why Sorge and Condelaguy win.
  • 2 0
 I swear, I'm secretly reading the exact same thread(s) from the Rampage article(s) after the event was done.
  • 2 1
 Just a heads up, this is pinkbike, a website for mountain bikers, not fucking twitter. Enough with the hash tag bullshit. Please.
  • 2 0
 What were the other nominees? I don't recall them.
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 Sorge's the one who really got robbed. He essentially got robbed of a true victory, because everyone bitches about it.
  • 5 3
 Yees Sorge!
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 And... so weird- there's nothing to complain about!
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 What the mother fucking fuck, pink bike
  • 1 0
 This bike looks so damn big!
  • 1 0
 How's the bike standing?
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 Shitty judging
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 Not only it was far from being the best run but he got a best come back award on top of it? Are we walking on the head in this world?
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