2012 Red Bull Rampage

This year's Red Bull Rampage may have been overshadowed by Felix Baumgartner's record-breaking free fall, but the fact that it takes a 128,098-foot sky dive to upstage this event should tell you just how severe downhill mountain biking has become. This invitation-only event sees 25 of the world's top mountain bikers riding some unimaginably scary lines on a cliffside outside of Zion, Utah. Canadian Kurt Sorge, 23, took his first-ever title at this year's competition.

And while the perfect winning runs are fun to watch, we especially like this recap video because it shows just how committing the Rampage is, even for these talented riders. At the very start, as footage of veteran rider Mike Kinrade getting ravaged after a crash runs in brutally painful slow-mo, another rider, Brendan Fairclough, underlines the point: "Rampage is kinda taking myself out of this comfort zone. It almost makes you feel like a beginner.... It scares you so much. It makes you feel nervous about riding again. This place is so unforgiving."

The riding is so demanding, in fact, that the event was cancelled between 2005 and 2007 over concerns for rider safety. And judging by this horrifying first-person footage of a Rampage run (and crash), we're not sure why exactly it came back—except for the fact that it's pretty darn entertaining to watch. But riders (and Baumgartner for that matter) please note: Red Bull doesn't actually give you wings.

—Aaron Gulley

Filed To: Athletes / Events / Biking
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