The 2018 Red Bull Rampage in Photos
Behind the scenes as Brett Rheeder wins the 13th annual freeride competition
On October 26, the legendary Red Bull Rampage freeride mountain biking competition wrapped its 13th year of competition in Virgin, Utah. It was the first year for a new and—if you can believe it—even steeper venue that added 160 feet of vertical drop from start to finish. Heavy wind and rain scuttled practice sessions, and crews worked from dusk to dawn sculpting dirt into takeoffs, berms, and landings. After a number of notable injuries, both before and during the contest, many riders were satisfied with making it to the bottom in one piece.
Because of the location change, crews of diggers had to build new lines from scratch.
Turning the desert into something even remotely ridable is a lot of work.
A digger builds a berm with a steep cliff behind it, leading into a huge drop. Small build pieces are often just as important as the lips and landings, because flowing from feature to feature is key to maintaining speed.
Canadian rider Brandon Semenuk discusses the course with a friend after a practice run.
Even the mellow sections of Rampage have high consequences. Eventual champion Brett Rheeder took a fall practicing his line the day before the contest, nearly sliding off the edge of a cliff.
Digger Jacob Spera tosses some dirt for rider Rémy Métailler’s line.
Métailler looks out at a series of jumps that culminated in a massive 60-plus foot long kicker into the finish corral.
Brendan Fairclough, a 30-year-old Brit, surveys the lower portion of his line.
Fairclough stares down a near vertical chute to drop feature. Riders typically try to complete each individual feature on its own before linking together their full competition run.