Remy Metailler Redeems Himself at the Rampage Site - Video

May 10, 2018 at 10:50
by Sarah Moore  
Views: 18,210    Faves: 58    Comments: 2


Remy Metailler was unable to compete at Redbull Rampage last year after being stopped at the border on his drive down from Whistler to Utah. He headed down last month to redeem himself, and finally ride the line that he envisioned riding during the 2017 competition.


Why weren't you able to attend Rampage last October?


Well, I showed up at the US border on Thursday the 12th of October around 11am with Eduardo Arruda (my builder from Brazil that I met in Whistler earlier that year) my bikes, truck, I was all ready to drive down to Utah, enjoy some time before Rampage with my builders and friends, and then compete. I had a great trip planned, with the Monster Cup in Vegas as well to watch, some Zion visiting… I was so looking forward to it.

All went well until a border officer Googled me.

I had been to Rampage twice before (2015 - 2016) and to the US many times. I never had one single issue. During my previous trips, when the officer asked me what I was doing I would say the truth. The last two Rampage I said "I'm going to bike close by Zion, and then compete in an event”. Every single trip I had made and the Q&A with the officers had been recorded, so the officer could see I was honest and had never lied about the purpose of my trip, or the duration…

Going to the US and compete under a Visitor Visa (b1/b2) or ESTA is totally legal according to the US immigration laws. Knowing that, why would I apply for another visa? Or do something different. Here is an extract from the law: A professional athlete who is in the U.S. on a visa waiver or B-1 visa cannot earn money in the U.S. other than prize money from tournaments. The professional athlete is expected to have a residence outside the U.S. that he or she will return to after the competition is complete. This visa is not appropriate if the athlete wants to live in the U.S. full time. Why would I try to hide anything? Nearly no one has an athlete visa anyways unless the rider actually works/worked in the US (film production, development, team camp…)

After hours spent at the border just north of Seattle, the US agent told me I won't be able to come to the US until I get an athlete visa or a new Visa.

As soon as it happened, I called a lawyer who confirmed once again that in my situation, to compete I did not need a work visa or athlete visa. I printed the law, a letter from the lawyer and went back to the border as the lawyer advised with no luck again.

I drove back to Vancouver, applied for a new Visitor Visa: B1/B2 (I had an ESTA originally which I can no longer have) and had the French embassy helping me out to get an express meeting 3 days later. The General Consulate of France mentioned that since the change of president in France and in the US, the tensions between the two countries generated an abnormal number of French citizens being denied entry in the United States.

The visa got denied but I still drove Eduardo my builder to work on my line (my other builder was already on the site) as I was hoping to make it after a second application the Tuesday (3 days before the event). I would have had no time to practice pretty much but f*ck it, it's Rampage and if I could have made it across the border even last minute, I would have ridden anyways. I tried a second time and met the embassy on the Tuesday before the event at 8 am and got denied again.

What was it like to watch your competitors and friends online from home?


I did not want to watch it live. I just wanted to ride, so I went to Kamloops and had a great weekend. While all that shit show was happening, I focused on getting stronger and faster to prepare the Urban Downhill of Taxco, which was the following weekend. I knew that the Taxco race was a good way to finish the season on a better note and something very important for me and my career to move on from the Rampage fail.

I watched the runs of the 20 riders afterwards. I was stoked that everyone had a great run, no major crashes, and that the sport had been pushed so much once again, but so mad I could not be there. I had trained and prepared all year just for that event.

Rampage redemption April 2018. Photo by Sir laance
Rampage redemption April 2018. Photo by Sir laance

What made you decide to go back to the Rampage site at a later date?


I don't like disappointing people. My builders worked so hard to get a line for me and I was not able to get there. So I went back this past April to show that I could ride that any day any time, with or without the helicopter and the media. I played it safe, just wanted to do a smooth top to bottom, that's it. Obviously during the event, with a medical crew, the media, other riders, my run would have been different, but by myself with no security around, wind flags or cell service on site, I was not going to risk anything. Some people would have, not me.

Did you go with a team of two builders and take four days to build/four days to practice like they do at the main event?


No, I just went by myself and stayed with my friend Tyson Hudson. We rode together (well not too much as apparently I picked up the windiest week in a long time hahaha), and on the last day the forecast said that the wind was going to be “ok” between 8am and 10am, so I had a 2 hour window to try the jumps and do a top to bottom. The day before, some very helpful young guys (Jaxon Riddle was one of them) came and gave a hand to rack the landings and rebuild some of the take off. I had my bike and kit ready to drop before sunset, but the wind was crazy. So we went home and came back at 7am the next day. The rain made it tricky as the dirt was slippery on some parts and sticking to my tires and shoes, but everything worked out fine. I wished I had got 1 hour more to dial everything and go faster/bigger and more stylish, but the wind picked really bad. Once I had jumped everything once, I was super comfortable and felt I could do that all day. I went back towards the top to get another lap in but the wind became to bad. I checked I got the GoPro for the gram, and made the call to go back down, packed up and I flew back home (Whistler) the next morning.

What was your goal with going to the site when there was no competition?


Just to have fun, and show my sponsors, fans, builder and friends that I was not going to give up after what happened last October. Clearly, I also wanted to earn a spot for this year’s Rampage.

Views: 7,532    Faves: 19    Comments: 0


Was it harder or easier to drop into your line knowing that you wouldn't be judged on it?


The judging part does not affect me during the event anyway. It was definitely harder to drop when I was pretty much by myself, and only because of security. I love biking and my job, but I don’t want to get an injury that is going to handicap me the rest of my life either.

What are your goals for the season?


Rampage.


Rampage redemption April 2018. Photo by Sir laance
Photo by @Sir_laance



86 Comments

  • 87 21
 Nice line man. Sorry about our shit border officials. Not all of us here in the US subscribe to the current administration driven hysterics. I promise we got some good lads over here too.
  • 42 119
flag geerumm (May 10, 2018 at 16:03) (Below Threshold)
 I'm not one to support government officials from any country, but clearly France played a part in his denial as well. Not just America. All that Trump and U.S. bashing was a little over the top when news of this broke last October. Good on Remy for coming back and making Rampage top priority for 2018!!
  • 66 20
 @geerumm: visas are messy and you may be right... but at this point I'm raising a glass to any and all trump bashing at this point. The amount of short sighted or ill-willed legislation enacted at the detriment of those who don't deserve it in the year alone has me filled with dread. I'm thru watching the country slip this quickly, I'd rather it not go decades more down this path.
  • 42 113
flag AntiGrav87 (May 10, 2018 at 16:57) (Below Threshold)
 @anchoricex: You should go see a mental health expert and stick to just riding your bike and ignoring the MSM. This stuff is getting beyond ridiculous, Trump literately had zero impact on Remy. You talk about hysterics, but allow your own hysteria to rule you. The abandonment of critical thinking of anything that has to do with Trump is not healthy for you, Pinkbike, the USA, or even the World.
  • 41 17
 @AntiGrav87: You MAGA guys are so lost and out to lunch. Critical thinking is exactly what the trumpists need more of. Good advice! That said, I'm not about to make an enemy of a neighbor, and I'll share a beer with anyone.
  • 10 6
 @AntiGrav87: lo f*cking l.
  • 38 14
 @blastido: I think some of you need to go back and read law. I do not feel Remy being stopped at the border was justified but if you read the rules that pertain to an athletes visa for America it is plain as can be and it shows that he was supposed to register for an athletic visa. I know the story said he spoke with his lawyer but obviously his lawyer was wrong!!! For those that feel this has something to do with Trump of course you do. Anything happens in America and of course it’s Trump’s fault. You all don’t realize how easy it actually is to get into America. If you think it’s hard try getting into some other countries as residence and see what happens. In fact go to the Canadian border as an American citizen with a DUI and let them know you got a DUI before you try and enter the country and see what happens. You can enter America with a DUI though. I have served my country and been all over the world and no matter what anyone thinks of the president, the country itself is a great place.
  • 25 12
 @krumpdancer101: sometimes I'm not sure why I even get involved in these PB comment sections... so much hatred and uneducated responses about America being thrown about. I've been in New Zealand since February, and although it's a beautiful place, every country has its' flaws (America included). But for people to automatically blame Trump is so preposterous. I understand this is a Canadian based website, which explains the hatred for America, but people like Remy who end up in these situations are not blameless. Take some ownership in our mistakes. The world doesn't owe anyone a damn thing.
  • 1 0
 aye aye
  • 3 7
flag foxxyman (May 10, 2018 at 20:30) (Below Threshold)
 @AntiGrav87: dude that was a little harsh.......
  • 2 1
 @krumpdancer101 ‘merida got it’s ups and downs
  • 1 0
 @geerumm: aye aye
  • 12 6
 @geerumm: Same thing happens with every president. They get the blame no matter what the actual story is. I am in basically complete opposition to almost all of Trump's agenda (to put it mildly.. more accurate to say I detest him and everything he stands for), but this isn't an example of Trumpism unless there is a whole lot more to the story. Contracted athletes (which I understand would be the case in this example) need a P-1 Visa. It seems that up until recently (though how recently isn't clear, so it might pre-date Trump), many athletes coming into the US used a B-1/ESTES visa even though following the letter of the law they should have had a P-1. It is just that we didn't enforce that rule very strictly, so he was able to come in before on a B-1 when it should have been a P-1. Then we started following the letter of the law and he was rejected. It could have been a case where the tension between France and the US was high, and It could be that Trump made the change, but I haven't seen any evidence of that, and it isn't like we weren't being selectively inconsistent before Trump. Anyway the letter of the law is pretty clear. If you are an internationally recognized athlete coming to the US to participate in an internationally recognized competition and/or are a contracted athlete (making a salary being an athlete) (and all seem to apply in this case), then you need a P-1.

But I really do hate Trump still.

I know when I travel internationally, I check before I go to see what the rules are, and to make sure that I follow the letter of the law for that country. I am an artist as my day gig, and I did a residency in Wales. I did a few hours of research to make sure I wouldn't need a visa, under the strictest interpretation of the law, not the one I hoped would get me through the easiest. Why? Because it is my profession, so I need to be a professional about it. Not try and game the system but do it right.
  • 25 0
 bikes
  • 1 0
 65.75
  • 12 11
 Trump.... ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha baha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Sorry but he is a joke. Clearly remys 'lawyer' got it wrong and fvcked up but tried to bs through it.
  • 5 11
flag krumpdancer101 (May 11, 2018 at 3:15) (Below Threshold)
 @enduroNZ: if Trump is a joke to you all in NZ then what are babies with Down syndrome?
  • 5 2
 @krumpdancer101: you see what I'm dealing with down here!? Hey @enduroNZ how about Jacinda Ardern?? All of politics is a joke, even here in New Zealand. And why do I have to see Trump every time I turn on NZ telly? That's the real joke!!
  • 5 14
flag AntiGrav87 (May 11, 2018 at 5:38) (Below Threshold)
 @blastido: I am not a Trump supporter. Nice try though. And I want none of your beers. Short of you being injured on a trail, you will receive no help from me.
  • 16 11
 the amount of Trump Derangement Syndrome is real in here. He was using the wrong VISA that's for sure. It does seem like that border agent was being a douche tho for sure. It definitely sucks and goes back the old argument, maybe we should actually enforce our laws because clearly we don't. Remy was given a false pretense by a prior administration being lackluster in immigration enforcement.

#thanksobama
  • 7 11
flag driftmonster (May 11, 2018 at 7:11) (Below Threshold)
 #maga
  • 4 1
 I got denied going trying to go into canada bc of a 20 year old court case that had been dismissed. This was after id already been into canada for many years via airport but this time i was driving. So some agents are just outliers...aka dicks
  • 4 8
flag jrocksdh (May 11, 2018 at 7:37) (Below Threshold)
 @krumpdancer101: usa is the easiest country to get into, stay and get free stuff(food, medical, school) You gta know how to play the game.
  • 8 13
flag cptstoney (May 11, 2018 at 10:11) (Below Threshold)
 @AntiGrav87: all im gonna say is a large percentage of people that voted for trump also believe in a child sex trafficking ring based in the basement of a pizza shop..... yall really cant say shit about critical thinking......
  • 6 10
flag krumpdancer101 (May 11, 2018 at 10:33) (Below Threshold)
 @cptstoney: What about the large percentage of Hitlery voters that believed she was gonna win? Guess not much critical thinking going on when u believe anything CNN says.
  • 4 0
 @jrocksdh: Easiest countries to get into, as an American, based on my experience traveling around the world:

1. Any country in the European Union that is not GBR: They barely look at your passport. They might ask a single question if their supervisors are in the vicinity. To be fair, this is if you're coming in from the U.S. or have a U.S. passport. I arrived in Germany once from Russia, and they were pretty strict with the Russians. They weren't having any nonsense.

2. The U.S.: I don't know why it's much less pleasant to get into my own country than it is to waltz into Frankfurt, but it is. I would think if you have to have a visa to come here, it's a little more of a pain in the ass. Our customs people are not friendly, and the paperwork is a needless hassle, but still, not too many problems. Rates a 7 out of 10 on ease to get in.

3. Commonwealth Countries: Among these, Canada is the worst -- as if they're expecting you to harass Mounties, poach beaver pelts and steal all their maple syrup. Overall, a step down from the U.S. in ease of crossing, but I suspect if my passport were switched, and I held a Commonwealth passports, my ratings would be switched. 6 of 10 in ease -- maybe a bump to a 7 in countries that don't give a poop and people are generally friendlier, like Australia or Jamaica.

4. Russia, China and Brazil: Americans need visas in these countries. Of these, Russia is the worst. The visa application is like 10 pages long, and they need to know every employer you've ever worked for. And once you get there, you are treated with all the warmth and friendliness you'd expect from Russia. The Brazilians just don't care -- maybe they'll get around to getting you a visa, maybe they won't. Are you sure you turned an application in? We can't find it. Maybe you'll have to do another one. Oh, you say your card was charged the fee? Yeah, well, we have no record of that. You'll have to fill out another one. And pay. Again. The Chinese procedure is a bit of a hassle, but once all the paperwork is in place for your visa., you're good to go. Better not apply for a visa as a journalist, though, unless you have a letter of invitation.
  • 4 0
 Its not Trumps or Obamas fault so quit playing that card. If Remy had kept his mouth shut and not said hes coming to make a lot of money, He would have been in Rampage. that simple.
  • 1 0
 IF YOU DON’T LIKE ‘WILL & GRACE’ DON’T MEAN THERE’S SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOU!
  • 1 2
 @TheR: well ur #4 list 2 of our top 3 enemies so there's that.
Its one thing to get into a country, whereas it's another level t0 be able to stay, raise a family and make a living without going through the legal process.
Deff a different list for legal travel vs illegal travel(migration).
  • 1 0
 @jrocksdh: who are our top 3 enemies? might wanna check twitter...
  • 1 1
 @jtayabji: iran, china, Russia.
  • 1 0
 @jrocksdh: i need twitter verification
  • 2 0
 @krumpdancer101: who back brace Clinton ? dodged a bullet there eh ?
  • 24 0
 Very cool, got it done for the best possible reason to compete in a RBR; yourself! Respect.
  • 1 2
 This area could become a all year round spot ...!
  • 2 1
 @RedBurn: private land
  • 1 0
 Wasea04 I didn't know you commented
  • 1 0
 Aweome line!
  • 12 0
 Look on the bright side, you got sweet parking at the finish line. Sweet line and so smooth.
  • 13 1
 BUT BUT HES TAKING AMERICAN JOBS AWAY!!

Just kidding.

I certainly wasn’t invited to ride it.
  • 7 0
 He toook ur jerbs
  • 15 4
 Goals for this year?: “Rampage.”
What a legend, we love you Remy
  • 12 3
 Oh ya cocky french people never have trouble with authority at the border...
  • 4 7
 are you upset
  • 2 0
 hahhaaha
  • 10 3
 Imagine that, unhelpful immigration officials. Still, at least there'll be no problems this year now Macron and Trump are best buddies. Oh, wait...
  • 7 0
 Best buddies?! they kiss each other and grab their hands in meetings...
  • 8 1
 Rider number 69....classy haha
  • 6 0
 I could get used to mid spring Rampage edits, thanks Remy! I hope I get to see you again in the desert this fall!
  • 3 1
 Not sure what the qualifying for Rampage looks like this year, but it would be a good call from Redbull to give him a spot given that he wasn't able to go last year and has put in solid performances in the past.
  • 2 1
 Solid performances? What?
  • 1 1
 12th and 10th out of 20-22 riders is not considered as a "solid" performance by most comp. standards. However they need to keep inviting him or another racer back because it adds a different style to the comp. which is always insane to watch.
  • 1 2
 @scott-townes: I'm not against him participating at all. As long as he stops finding excuses to not have a run. He's also not a racer.
  • 2 1
 @mollow: You never indicated otherwise in your 3 word post, bud. But based on your post now, you sound like you're highly uneducated about all of this.
  • 1 1
 @scott-townes: that's cause you're extrapolating "bud". So I'm un-educated because I'm informing you he's not a racer? Or because the past 2 years he had a reason not to drop in? What is it Scott?
  • 2 2
 @mollow: "Solid performances? What?" - Your post.

"12th and 10th out of 20-22 riders is not considered as a "solid" performance by most comp. standards." - My response to your post.

The rest of my post had nothing to do with you. However based on your responses where you have no idea that Remy spends a majority of his time racing and you think he didn't take a run in 2016 shows you're pretty clueless. Its OK that you're a gaper, bud. The quicker you accept this, the quicker you can stop making idiotic and ill-informed posts.
  • 2 1
 @scott-townes: go back to skiing, bud. Keep those derogatory terms (gaper) in the winter sports where fashion reigns over actual skill.
  • 1 0
 @geerumm: duuude fashion only reigns supreme in winter sports for people with no skill. to be honest, i notice more trash talk and bad attitudes in the summer.
  • 5 0
 Rider #69 burrows down to the musky reward!
  • 2 0
 as a tax paying citizen of US- this is nonsense

what a waste of MY MONEY interferring w/ my global friends

peace to all

not throwing out the baby with the bath water

go USA
  • 2 1
 That camera view from afar is awesome. It highlights the scale and steepness of the lines showing how much a helmet cam view makes things look "easy" not that riding any of this course would be easy
  • 9 5
 Blame trump? Peckerwood. Unsubscribing from all your media.
  • 1 1
 Yeah that’s the thing when people need visa or other stuff in that matter they most of the time like to refer to past experience when they didn’t have any problem.

He didin in fact need an athlete visa this as nothing to do with the boarder agent or trump.

People should be aware of all the law and regulation when entering a country and not refer to oh ok I did it so many time that way I should be ok again. Mistake !
  • 3 0
 I feel my butt clench in every jump he made...
  • 3 0
 FREERIDE!!
  • 2 1
 Super sick line. Hopefully the U.S. and France will be on better terms next year...
  • 7 5
 US and France are not in bad term, except concerning the US inbred rednecks proto-fascists that voted Trump. Once the US will get rid of that american psycho, they will hopefully have the president they deserve. Unfortunately, this will not change the fundamentals of that schizo country.
  • 2 1
 Time to bring it back: #itsnotaraceremy
Dude freaking sends it I'm always so stoked to watch him ride keep it up please
  • 1 0
 The exposure on those upper drops are insane! No room for misjudging your take-offs. Killer run!!
  • 1 1
 Props Remy! Also looking at the chute that Kyle rode in the top left of the last photo makes my hands clammy. GNAR!
  • 1 1
 Redeem vid makes me feel like I'm watching myself play a sick twisted video game
  • 2 0
 CALL ICE!!
  • 1 2
 Cool to see the work is still there. Folks said everything was destroyed year after year but im guessing that's regarding any wood features.
  • 1 0
 rampage is so nuts. massive moves
  • 1 0
 And the crowd goes wild!!!
  • 3 3
 Good work Remy.......looking forward to seeing you in Rampage in 2018!
  • 6 6
 Stories like this make me embarrassed to live in the US.
  • 2 5
 I understand what you mean. You`re welcome in Canada or in Europe if you want. I personaly know some american refugees here in France, and they are so releaved not to live in the US anymore. Here they found something more civilized let`s say ;-)
  • 4 4
 Fuck the customs folks!
  • 1 4
 i was following his insta story while i was in utah and was at rampage 5 hours after he left. so close!!
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