Well, despite the finals being limited to one run due to high wind, the 2013 iteration of the Red Bull Rampage contest, mountain biking’s first contest to resemble a big-mountain ski or snowboard event. Hosted on a spiny ridgeline in the high desert near Green River, Utah, the area’s vertical lines, ridgeline transfers, chutes, enormous gaps, and heinously large cliff drops resemble the kind of terrain you might have seen Sage shredding in Alaska earlier today, except on a mountain bike. If the description doesn’t explain the insane format of this contest well enough, the top three videos certainly will:
Cam Zink: 3rd Place
Out of all the lines dug and created at Rampage, it is routinely the Red Bull canyon gap and the Oakley Sender that get the most hype, likely by design. Cam, whose intimate relationship with the Sender includes the first-ever 360 sent off of it in 2010, rekindled his love for the feature this year by absolutely cooking into the biggest part of it and lofting a backflip into the deepest step-down landing.
Kelly McGarry: 2nd Place
Just when you thought Cam Zink’s step-down backie was going to be a standalone trick, Kiwi Kelly McGarry threw a backflip over the 72-foot Red Bull canyon gap. So there’s that. But since calling Zink and McGarry’s runs on their biggest trick alone was an exercise in splitting hairs, it was likely McGarry’s two other flips at the beginning and end of his run that pushed him over Zink into second.
Kyle Straight’s Winning Run:
We mentioned above how Rampage is really the first mountain bike contest that resembles what a big-mountain ski or snowboard contest, especially (no surprise here) some of Red Bull’s other snow contests like Cold Rush and Supernatural. And if anyone rode this course like a skier/snowboarder, it was Kyle Straight - the first rider to repeat a win at Rampage. It seemed that Straight was on the brakes the least out of anybody, connecting wildly fluid lines with minimal slowpoints and using the speed to clear multiple big gaps, including his no-hander off the biggest point of the Oakley Sender and his finishing launch of the long gap at the bottom.