Balls-Out Riding And Ballistic Bails: The Very Best Of Red Bull Rampage
Utah never fails to throw up a serious showdown packed with world's firsts and big bails...
Red Bull Rampage is edging enticingly closer, so we’ve started reminiscing about some of the show-stopping moments that the freeriding frenzy has thrown our way.
From world’s firsts to dramatic title wins and gargantuan bails, Rampage has it all. It’s packed with no boundaries chaos that brings all sorts of riders together before launching them off unreasonable cliffs. It's absolute madness.
Of course, there have been countless highlights since the event got going 13 years ago, but here are just some of the most memorable moments from the showcase spectacular...
2001: The Party Gets Started
You've got to love a bit of archive footage. Check out this clip from 2001, when the first Red Bull Rampage got going.
This was the year that the crazy idea became a reality. They threw some badass bikers up the top of a mountain in Utah and let them choose their own line down. Wade Simmons took the win.
2003: Cedric Gracia Nails A Huge Gap To Win It
Cedric Gracia is a downhill mountain biking legend. The guy's been at it since the late 90s and he's still shredding hard.
Gracia was known to win by big margins in the downhill world - he once racked up a winning margin of over nine seconds - but at Rampage he showed he's got mad freeride skills too.
2003: Josh Bender Crashes Out Big Time
Josh Bender apparently broke his back on this gnarly crash in 2003. One of the original freeriders, Bender was never scared to take on a line that would give the rest of us nightmares.
He may have broken a few bones on the way, but Bender showed that big drops are possible. A true freeride legend!
2004: A Young Kyle Strait Nails The No Hander
American Kyle Strait is a Red Bull Rampage legend. He first starred when he was 14 years old, and won it in '04 just three years later.
On top of all that, the 17 year old was riding against doctor's orders and still managed to land an insane no-hander to take the win. This guy is something special.
2004: Wade Simmons Bails Out Big Time
This bail from Wade Simmons must be one of the gnarliest out there. This shit is rough.
Wade won the whole thing in the very first year of Rampage, in 2001, and he's another one who's been ride at the forefront of freeriding since it all got going. Despite all that though, this must've hurt.
2008: Brandon Semenuk Wins – 17 Years Old
The Whistler kid we all know and love introduced himself to Red Bull Rampage in style in 2008.
After the event had been on a four year hiatus, Semenuk pitched up in Utah and matched the achievement of defending champ Kyle Strait from four years earlier - winning Rampage at just 17 years old.
2008: Cam McCaul Takes An Uncomfortable Tumble
Cam majorly nails the huge kicker here before he crumbles on one of the drops. Another awesome rider who's had a horrible crash at Rampage. It's easy to see that this is no place for beginners...
2010: Gee Atherton Shows Some Steezy Riding
The now two-time downhill mountain biking world champion produced an unreal run at Rampage in 2010. Check out some of his sick lines here, including an absolutely badass drop onto the giant Red Bull quarter at the end.
He took second place for his efforts - beaten only by a special display from Cam Zink...
2010: Cam Zink Stomps A Badass 360
Zink took the title away from Gee Atherton after this badass 360 from a huge drop.
"Holy mother trucker!", proclaims the hilarious commentary on this one. After Cam's huge three though, you can see why the men with the mics were excited.
Of course, Cam would go on to one-up this effort in 2013, but we'll get on to that a bit later...
2010: Andreu Lecondeguy Gets A Baptism Of Fire
This was Andreu's first Red Bull Rampage, and despite almost breaking his collarbone on his second run, he finished up fourth overall in the end.
Check out the hit above - Andreu's run gets going from 4:16.
2012: It All Ends In Pain For Gee Atherton
Gee Atherton fell hard in 2012 when he went to take on a big drop. This is one seriously gnarly crash.
Everyone knows how talented the downhill rider is, so when you see him biting dirt like this, it's a testament to the difficulty of the task ahead in Utah.
2013: Cam Zink Hits The 78ft Step Down Backflip
"His girlfriend is here and he is expecting a child." So at least there was not much pressure on Cam Zink then.
The commentary claimed that those facts would play on his mind, but Zink definitely didn't show any nerves if they did. Instead, he stomped the biggest ever step down backflip thrown down in history. And it was awesome.
2013: Kyle Strait Makes A Whole Lot Of History
We told you Kyle's a Rampage legend, right? Here's his GoPro footage from last year's win. He's the only rider to ever take the top prize twice, and he's the only rider to have made the finals in every single edition of the comp.
Once again, he threw down a sick run in 2013, and once again, it included a badass no-hander. Check it out in the video above at around the 40 second mark.
2013: Kelly McGarry Backflips The Road Gap
The YouTube video that got over 21 million hits... Kelly McGarry's giant backflip over a 72ft road gap took the world by storm.
This would end up being the silver medal run, and between Kelly's humming, the sound of the wind during his backflip and the crowd going crazy when he lands it, it's got to be one of the best head cam clips out there.
We can't wait to see what's coming at Red Bull Rampage 2014...