Proving Grounds Sets New Course For Freeride

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Proving Grounds shifts focus and introduces new opportunities for Freeride athletes.

Originally introduced as a qualifier for Red Bull Rampage, Proving Grounds remains an event organised by Todd Barber of H5 Events – the force behind Rampage – but takes a new direction with a host of new sponsors. No longer sponsored by Red Bull, Adidas FiveTen takes over as the headline sponsor. The event ceases to be qualifier for Rampage, instead becoming an event in its own right with plans to become a series, and there’s a strong list of invited athletes for this first new format event.

Proving Grounds

Taking place in Bend, Oregon, in September, it’s planned as a festival where there will be both a men’s and women’s competitions over two days of competition. Friday afternoon men and women’s Jump Jam, Saturday competition, two nights of camping, live music, product demos, movie premieres, food trucks, 10 Barrel Beer Garden and more will hopefully create that festival feel.

Red Bull Rampage has long been considered the Super Bowl of our sport, but there is an obvious void of big-bike freeride events where athletes can make their mark outside of that arena. Proving Grounds provides the space to showcase the talent of the World’s best athletes.

Event founder Todd Barber

Proving Grounds differs from Rampage in that it’s a built course where athletes choose their lines from the options available, rather than scratching them out themselves from the natural landscape as in Red Bull Rampage or Formation. This positions it somewhere between the Big Mountain Freeride of Rampage and the Slopestyle of Crankworx or the Fest series. Expect huge drops, massive doubles, berm presses, and rhythm sections.

Proving Grounds

Proving Grounds 2019 was one of the most challenging events I’ve done, a true test of mental strength; it’s not an event to take lightly. It will be so cool to have more women there this time; the more events we can have like this, the bigger freeride will be on the women’s side

Casey Brown

For now, the invited athletes include almost all the riders that went to this year’s Formation event – only Vaea Verbeeck is replaced by Robin Goomes. The men’s lineup offers a mix of Red Bull Rampage veterans, plus others from the slopestyle scene.

Invited Women

Camila Noguiera (ARG)
Casey Brown (CAN)
Chelsea Kimball (USA)
Hannah Bergemann (USA)
Jess Blewitt (NZ)
Robin Goomes (NZ)
Samantha Soriano (USA)
Vinny Armstrong (NZ)

Invited Men

Adolf Silva (ESP)
Antoine Bizet (FRA)
Alex Volokhov (CAN)
Bienvenido Aguado Alba (ESP)
Billy Meaclem (NZ)
Cam Zink (USA)
Carson Storch (USA)
Clemens Kaudela (AT)
Damon Iwanaga (USA)
Dylan Stark (USA)
DJ Brandt (USA)
Ethan Nell (USA)
Jaxon Riddle (USA)
Juan Diego Salido (MEX)
Kyle Strait (USA)
Louis Reboul (FRA)
Nicholi Rogatikin (USA)
Paul Genovese (CAN)
Reece Wallace (CAN)
Reed Boggs (USA)
Tom Isted (GBR)
Tom Van Steenbergen (CAN

A confirmed list of athletes will be provided closer to the event, which is 10-11 September. If you want to head along to spectate, the festival weekend will offer individual ticket sales as well as camping passes that will include exclusive access to the Friday night jump Jam. Saturday will feature a full day of competition, industry vendors, food trucks, craft beer, giveaways, music, and more. Tickets are limited and go on sale Monday, July 19th.

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Hannah Dobson

Managing Editor

I came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. I like all bikes, but especially unusual ones. More than bikes, I like what bikes do. I think that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments. I try to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

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