Most Brutal Mountain Bike Crash Ever? Nicholi Rogatkin Just Fell Down a 30ft Cliff... Then Walked Away
"I was tumbling down the cliff just waiting to go unconscious..."
In practise for Rampage, the finals of which start at 5.30pm UK time on 16 October, today, American slopestyle star and freerider Nicholi Rogatkin, the cash roll king, took what is being called the most brutal crash in the history of Red Bull Rampage. And any fan of mountain biking will know that there have been more than a few nasty bails.
On his first practise run, Rogatkin had just finished a techy section and was preparing for a huge drop, when his front wheel skidded and he was thrown over the edge of a cliff. He smacks off a rocky patch and tumbles what must have been between 20-30ft down to the floor below. But what happens next is even more amazing...
The aftermath of the crash? Nicholi gets up, his face covered in blood, picks his bike back up and finishes the run. And he doesn't just ride down the mountain either, he stomps some huge drops and gaps, not least the 72ft canyon gap, and even throws a backflip on his final jump before the finish line.
"It's the first run. The nerves are up there, it's the big show and everything and you've got to drop in," Rogatkin told Red Bull after the incident. "Everthing was going well and then I came up to the gnarliest drop on my line - a pretty techy section I had just had with three drops in a row so I had to slow down very abruptly before it.
"Unfortunately when I tried to slow down my front wheel washed out the wrong way and sent me flying down a cliff. While I was tumbling down the cliff I was just waiting to go unconscious.
"Medics ran over to me and I just got up and started walking around. I grabbed my bike and adjusted my helmet - it was pretty mangled from the tumble - and just dropped it and finished my run."
There are some questions being asked over whether Rogatkin should've been allowed to carry on after the incident - was he concussed? Was his bike definitely alright? Were there broken bones or internal injuries even he couldn't have known about? But one thing is for sure; Nicholi Rogatkin is hard as nails, and he's one hell of a freeride mountain biker.
We've heard about Semenuk's "terrifying" Rampage line and it's a shame that Nico Vink crashed out after gambling on this drop, but after the amazing qualifying winning run from Aggy earlier and now this from Rogatkin, it looks like Rampage 2015 is going to be off the scale.