Every year, the Red Bull Rampage pushes the boundaries of freeride, letting mountain biking’s top riders pick and choose their lines, their tricks and their obstacles in an effort to prove the impossible possible. And blow our collective minds while they’re at it. This year is no different, as 21 of the most recognized names in MTB hit the dirt in Virgin, UT, for the 12 edition of Rampage. Here’s what you need to know, introduced by video to get you pumped:
There’s no clock, only a start and finish banner. How each rider gets from one to the other is up to them, and they can preview the land and build their own ramps, jumps and obstacles to showcase their unique abilities. They’re judged on speed, flow, style and technical prowess, as well as the overall quality of the line chosen. Yes, each rider gets to build their own line, with the help of two others (but no power tools) for three days of building followed by four days of practice riding.
Two groups made the cut for 2017, pre-qualified and wild cards. To pre-qualify, you had to place in the top 10 at last year’s Rampage. These riders are Brandon Semenuk, Antoine Bizet, Carson Storch, Kurt Sorge, Kyle Strait, Thomas Genon, Tyler McCaul, Andreu Lacondeguy, Pierre Edouard Ferry, and Tom Van Steenbergen.
WILDCARD RIDERS & JUDGES
Eleven wildcard riders made this year’s cut by looking at past Red Bull Rampage performance and other similar events, proven skills on a mountain bike, and the radness of current video segments they’ve been putting out. These riders include Brendan Fairclough, Brett Rheeder, Cam Zink, Conor Macfarlane, Darren Berrecloth, Ethan Nell, Vincent Tupin, Bas Van Steenbergen, Logan Binggeli, Reed Boggs, and Rémy Métailler.
Judging this year’s event are prior competitors Randy Spangler (USA, head judge), Kyle Jameson (USA), Nico Vink (Belgium), Geoff Gurevich (Canada), Mike Kinrade (Canada), and Josh Bender (USA).
WHERE TO WATCH
The 2017 Red Bull Rampage airs with full access to the entire program LIVE on RedBull.tv this Friday, October 27 at 1:30pm EDT, free and worldwide, on their Signature Series channel. Catch that online, or download Red Bull TV on your newer Apple TV (we did, and then we spent hours diving down their rabbit hole of insane coverage, cycling and otherwise). Or catch the highlight reel on NBC on Sunday, December 24 at 4:30pm EDT (perfect Christmas Eve entertainment, no?).