While September means the end of almost all national and international mountain bike racing, we don’t have to twiddle our thumbs just yet.
Although only 21 athletes compete in Red Bull Rampage, it is the most hyped, and most media-covered mountain bike event in the world. Rampage garners attention not just from mountain bikers, but everyday people alike, who will catch it on NBC, YouTube, or in viral video clips splashed across social media.
This year, viewers can watch it on Red Bull TV on Oct. 25, 2019, or they can watch it mountainside in Virgin, UT if they were lucky enough to get tickets.
This will be the second year at the re-located venue. In 2018, a lot of the riders struggled to finish building their lines and connecting a run on the raw mountain. New and veteran riders alike crashed on their first runs of the day in 2018. A handful of those either elected not to do their second run, or did and crashed again.
Now that remnants are left from many of the returning rider’s lines, they should have a better idea how to connect them and how to clean them in 2019.
Every year, the top ten highest scoring riders are automatically qualified for the following year. Most of them are Rampage regulars. Rheeder claimed his first win 2018, and Lacondeguy put down one of his best runs ever. Third-time competitor and local to St. George, Utah, Ethan Nell claimed an impressive third place and might as well be a Rampage regular now.
On top of the pre-qualifying riders, Red Bull invites around ten Wildcard athletes every year to fill out the list. This year, Red Bull invited Rampage staples, Cam Zink, Carson Storch, Brandon Semenuk, and Graham Agassiz. Semenuk and Storch are highly competitive at Rampage, but crashed in both of their runs last year.
Antoine Bizet won the People’s Choice award in 2017, but was absent last year. He will return as a Wildcard. The true Wildcard however seems to be UCI World Cup downhill racer Gee Atherton. Atherton was one of the earliest Rampage competitors in 2003 and 2004, and also competed in 2008, 2010, and last competed in 2012. More so known for his race speed, Atherton is a true outlier at the event.
New for 2019 though, is an actual Red Bull Rampage qualifying event, the Marzocchi Proving Grounds. The event was held in Bend, OR at the Oregon Dirt Park on Sept. 7th and 8th. The Proving Grounds course consisted of massive dirt and wood features that were “Rampage-sized.”
DJ Brandt, Juan Diego Salido, and Reed Boggs secured the three available spots. Last year was Brandt’s first year competing and he crashed in his first run and did not take a second. Boggs has also competed at Rampage before, but this will be Salido’s first time and he will be the first Mexican rider to compete at Rampage ever.
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Took a hard slam in finals at @provinggroundsor the wind was only getting worse so I dropped in as soon as I could, the first few features were all good, then I felt the wind off the cannon (it pushed me about 3 feet to the right) and then came the RedBull kicker, I went in pumped the berm, pedalled and popped the lip, thought I had enough for a wee case, but the head wind was in full force, gnarly case to OTB onto the hard pack. Got back to Canada last night thanks to @basvsteenbergen driving the savage 11 hours with me. Went to the hospital today and got the good news that nothing is broken, I have a separated SC joint, a sprained MCL, and a little internal bleeding. A few weeks off the bike. Stoked on the fun week at @provinggroundsor what a cool opportunity! Thanks everyone for your kind words and support ?? [email protected]
Casey Brown was hopeful to be the first female Rampage competitor this year, but crashed hard at Marzocchi Proving Grounds.
Top-ten 2018 riders, pre-qualified for 2019
- Brett Rheeder
- Andreau Lacondeguy
- Ethan Nell
- Tom van Steenbergen
- Thomas Genon
- Tyler McCaul
- Kyle Strait
- Szymon Godziek
- Kurt Sorge
- Brendan Fairclough
- Brandon Semenuk
- Cam Zink
- Carson Storch
- Antoine Bizet
- Graham Agassiz
- Reece Wallace
- Vincent Tupin
- Gee Atherton
Riders qualified from Red Bull Proving Grounds
- DJ Brandt
- Juan Diego Salido
- Reed Boggs
Keep an eye out for more Rampage content, and watch live on Red Bull TV on Oct. 25 at 10am MST.