This year, we were treated with a great edition of Red Bull Rampage and a respectable follow-up to the new mountain, which debuted last year.
Returning riders had a better opportunity to perfect their lines, since most of their tracks had been left in the dirt over the past year. This allowed for more connectivity in the runs with better transitions, lips, and landings.
We saw early riders like Carson Storch go huge early in the day with podium-worthy descents, only to be superseded by even bigger runs.
Brandon Semenuk staked his claim early in the day with a score of 92.33. Semenuk might have had the best run of the day, but he certainly wasn’t the only photogenic one out there with style, speed, and big air.
Here is an armful of our favorite moments from around the mountain. We’re already getting excited for next year.
Editor’s note: Click on any photo to open as a slideshow with larger images.
The day before the big show. Digging goes down until the tires hit the dirt.
Gary Fisher in the house, watching athletes get practice in.
Half of the competitors’ lines took place behind this ridge where the big screen TV was placed. Spectators were placed on the side from the photographer’s perspective, so the screen was necessary for viewers.
Brendan Fairclough airing out his 50-foot canyon gap, sans backflip this time.
Brett Rheeder’s warm-up air.
Szymon Godziek charging on his first run as the sun brightens up.
Carson Storch with a superman backflip.
Carson Storch bringing it to the side a little after a rock solid first run down the mountain.
Thomas Genon with a tight landing zone.
Andreu Lacondeguy didn’t have his best Rampage ever, crashing on both of his runs.
Brandon Semenuk started his winning run with an opposite-spun 360.
Semenuk’s backflip one-footed can can. How though?
Rampage is bigger than it looks in photos, and it looks pretty dang big in photos. Graham Aggasiz dropping an apartment building sized cliff.
Photos: Hannah Morvay.
Another massive sender by Reed Boggs.
After a 4th place first run, Brendan Fairclough stopped on his signature rock to honor Jordie Lunn with a set of pushups.
Fairclough picking his way down nothing that resembles a trail.
Kyle Strait hits the deck on his second run.
Strait is a man of the people.
Strait didn’t get down on himself after the crash. Instead, he grabbed a Natty Light from the crowd and headed back down the mountain.
Tommy G crankin’ it out.
T-Mac hit a sizable drop before this jump and sprinted into the fastest backflip I have ever seen.
Tom van Steenbergen rounded out the Canadian-filled podium in 3rd.
Brett Rheeder tried twice to match Semenuk’s score, but couldn’t. He still pulled off 2nd for the day.
Carson Storch was on fire, and seemingly topping his first run, until his tire came off of the rim, forcing the tube to shoot out of the tire and wheel.
Left: Autographs are in order because A) Semenuk B) winning Rampage Right: The winning, 26-inch Trek Session
Time to party.