This year marked 20 years since the first Red Bull Rampage. Since the Singletrack staff were trapped on this side of the ocean, we asked USA based photographer JP Gendron to capture the scenes for us. Grab yourself a big screen to make the most of these.
The sun rises across the site, warming the sides of the mountains and creeping its way into the canyons.
Dig crews, media and a few special visitors are allowed on the site before competition day. Rampage and Freeride legend Josh Bender was there to check out the builds.
There are rituals to be completed – whether for good luck, confidence, or respect for those that rode before. Push-ups for Jordie, from Kyle Strait.
Fist bumps too.
Ethan Nell stands in quiet visualisation and contemplation. Prayer, even, maybe?
When you’re about to ride off something like this, careful contemplation is probably wise.
Thoughts gathered, it’s time to keep that focus and ride. Cam Zink walks the walk.
Szymon Godziek guineas a line in practice.
Brandon Semenuk caught in the process of doing a tail whip – it almost looks like he turned a corner on the trail to find there was no more trail.
The quieter days of digging and practice done, the fans descend for finals, picking their spot, setting up camp, aiming for a good view.
Some of the views are very far away. Spot the riders?
For the Utah locals, Rampage is a regular pilgrimage. Camp set ups are perfected, favourite camp spots returned to, and friends and bike families reconnected over a weekend of bikes in the desert. Brandon, Mo and Jenny are all Utah locals, with roots in the now closed Wild Rose bike shop. Dispersed across other Salt Lake City bike shops and Camper Reparadise, a custom van build business, this Wild Rose family makes the trip back to Rampage as often as possible. This year, family ties were in full effect, as these bike cousins rallied round to bring Al along for the party.
After a stroke a few years back, Al can’t get far from his house without support. Thanks to his bike family, he got to make the full weekend trip out to the desert, complete with trailer to sleep in, and plenty of campfire time to catch up with everyone.
Rampage: for some it’s about more than riding bikes off cliffs.
Reed Boggs launches off the Goblin.
Reed Boggs, further down his line.
Local rider Jaxson Riddle hits a landing.
Jaxson again, in one of the most stunning shots we’ve seen this year.
Kurt Sorge flies.
Tyler McCaul soars.
No matter how much of it you drink, it doesn’t actually give you wings. Tyler McCaul improvises.
Kyle Strait tries it too.
Szymon Godziek 360s it.
Notice how the photographers on the cliff top are reaching out for the shot, but leaning back away from the cliff edge, while Cam Zink flips it.
Kurt Sorge flipping it too. Can you look at this shot without tilting your head back a bit?
Kyle Strait, kicking up dust.
Carson Storch kicking up dust, the wrong way.
Tom Van Steenburgen flipping it, before he crashed. Wishing him a speedy recovery!
The winners celebrate.
Jaxson Riddle and dig team celebrate their Best Dig Team award.
Then it’s time for the crowds to disperse: back home, back to camp, back to party in the desert, ride their own lines and dig their own trails.
The Red Bull Rampage course falls silent for another year.
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