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Hartwick College's Student Newspaper

The View From Oyaron Hill

Ramping up for Red Bull Rampage


Tim Raimy  


Red Bull Rampage is a downhill and freeride-style mountain biking event that was introduced in 2001, and is coming back in 2015 for its tenth year of competition. In 2005, Rampage was canceled and remained on hiatus until 2008 due to the 2004 competition being deemed too dangerous, as riders kept pushing bigger tricks and faster speeds. 

After that its 2008 return, Rampage also took breaks for the years of 2009 and 2011. Rampage is hosted in Virgin, Utah, outside of Zion National Park, where a selection of three different venues have been chosen from year to year that make use of different cliffs of the area.

The event has been growing every year, both because the sport is changing –  bikes are being built to be able to do more, and the riders are only getting better – and because new expansions are put into the venue every year. This will be the second year that Rampage will be held at the third venue site so you can expect some really impressive runs, as riders will have had a year to look back at last year and use the training they have built up to try to really impress the judges.

Over the years there have been some pretty unforgettable moments at Rampage. In 2004, Kyle Strait was the youngest person to win the event at the age of seventeen; he went on to become the only rider to win Rampage twice in 2013. Other memorable moments include when the “Oakley Icon Center” was built into the course in 2010 to give riders an added challenge, and when Cameron Zinc landed a massive 360 degree turn off the massive drop for the winning run that year. 

Other memorable moments from Zinc were his backflip down a seventy foot drop, even though it couldn’t land him a win, and the heart stopping crash on the 2012 seventy-two foot canyon gap jump; thankfully Zinc was able to walk away with only bruised heels and ankles.

Red Bull Rampage doesn’t just attract mountain bikers from the United States, either; most of the competitors also come from Canada, with a few coming from Britain, France, Italy, Australia, and Norway as well. And these are only a few of the countries represented: the winner of the 2014 Rampage was Andreu Lacondeguy, from Spain. This year’s Rampage will be held this coming weekend, October 15th through the 17th, with the 15th and 16th being reserved for practice and the final competition occurring on the 17th. I personally can’t wait to see the big name riders return for another year, and see any new names attracted to the event, as well as what everybody has to bring to the table.