The second-ever Red Bull Formation has wrapped up for the year, and the people involved in the event seem stoked on how it went. Formation, which has been dubbed a “progression session” rather than the eagerly-awarded title of “Women’s Rampage,” put eight of the world’s best riders in the desert, along with other freeride and mountain bike veterans to open up channels of progression for women in freeride.
Formation started May 24, and ended yesterday, June 1st. Athletes scouted the mountain, and built top-to-bottom runs on the steep and loose slopes of Virgin, Utah. Hannah Bergemann, Camila Nogueira, Casey Brown, Chelsea Kimball, Jess Blewitt, Sam Soriano, Vaea Verbeeck, and Vinny Armstrong were all in attendance for the camp.
“This was the most spectacular women’s freeride mountain biking that we’ve seen to date,” said Katie Holden, a Red Bull Formation founding organizer. “Each athlete got out of their comfort zone when envisioning their lines and it paid off in a huge way. It just shows how hungry and talented the women in this sport are to progress.”
Freeskiers Michelle Parker, Lexi Dupont, and Birk Irving attended as did freeriders Carson Storch, Ethan Nell, and Jaxson Riddle, helping guide the attending athletes down their freeride lines.
“I’m just blown away by how far the ladies have improved in such a short time span,” says Parker. Part of her role included one-on-one time with each athlete to tackle the fear of riding such rugged terrain. “The stuff we built this week is way bigger than the first year. It’s incredible to see the progression. I’m honored to be part of this and see the women level up together.”
Formation included three dig days, similar to Rampage, where the athletes built out their dream lines, but Formation included a rest day, giving the ladies a chance for mentorship and a brief reprieve. Then, three ride days followed, where athletes rode their lines piece-by-piece and then linked them together on the final day.
Hannah Bergemann won the new Evolution in Action Award, presented by the event sponsor Arc’teryx, for the participant who best resembled the values of Formation.
“The thing I’m most proud of is to ride in a way that inspires confidence in everyone else,” said Bergemann upon accepting the award.
Red Bull is producing a series and documentary to highlight Formation 2021 and it’s set to air late summer.
In a release, Formation organizer Katie Holden said, “Everything that we do in this moment at Red Bull Formation matters for those that come behind us. This is a space for us to come together to progress and push the sport forward.”