After a month of digging, shoveling and shaping, the Red Bull Rampage course was primed and ready for action as 21 of mountain biking’s best sent it down the picturesque Utah landscape, vying for one of 12 spots in the event finals. Riders hailing from 10 different countries dropped in, thrilling fans with death-defying airs over massive gaps and tricks high above the 1,500 feet of vertical descent between the start and finish line below.
Ramon Hunziker, the last guy to make the show.
While just miles away Zion National Park was closed to the public due to the government shutdown, nothing could keep the riders from having open season over a course where they were free to choose their lines and build features. Hailing from British Columbia, Graham Agassiz took one of the biggest risks with a suicide no-hander over the 72-foot canyon gap. His fluid and fast line put him easily into the first qualifying spot. Pierre Edouard Ferry from Lyon, France also proved that the combination of big tricks with speed and fluidity were the keys to impressing the judges, throwing a big back flip towards the top of his run and adding in a 360 drop for good measure. Rounding out the top three was Belgium’s Thomas Genon, with a steep and technical line down one of the most challenging parts of the course.
Perhaps the rider who garnered the most voracious cheers from fans and fellow competitors alike was Vancouver’s Mitch Chubey, who came back from a massive tumble in his first run, racing to almost completely replace his bike parts and running up to the start to make it in time for his second run – and then conquering the same gap that took him out without missing a beat and earning his way into the finals with a fourth place finish.
THE HUCK HAS JUST BEGUN
Today’s action was just a preview for Sunday, where 25 riders will launch out of a higher start gate for what will prove to be a course set to make Red Bull Rampage history. Expect to see riders launching from the Oakley Icon Sender, which includes five different ramp options and is made for jaw-dropping tricks. The riders from today will join the likes of former Rampage champions such as Kyle Strait, Brandon Semenuk and Cam Zink. There has never been a repeat winner of Red Bull Rampage – and there is no doubt the former champs are looking to change that fact. First place qualifier Agassiz is just as excited to watch as he is to participate, “Tomorrow is going to be insane, there is a handful of dudes that can easily win this thing and everyone’s lines are looking really good.” By tomorrow afternoon the world will know who had the perfect combination of line selection, tricks, flow and bravery (and perhaps a bit of luck) to be named the next Red Bull Rampage Champion.
DIGITAL DOWNHILL EXPERIENCE
This weekend fans around the world will be able to tune in as Red Bull Rampage is being webcast live, beginning at 1pm MT (12pm PT/3pm ET) on Sunday, October 13th by clicking here
. The enhanced webcast will feature live voting for the first time, with a prize being awarded to the Red Bull Bike People’s Choice. Get involved in the action via live chat with fans around the world, and watch your favorite moments over and over with almost instant online replays for each run.
Today's winner, Graham Agassiz.
QUALIFICATION RESULTS – TOP 12 MOVE ON TO FINAL
1. Graham Agassiz CAN - 80.0
2. Pierre Edouard Ferry FRA - 76.25
3. Thomas Genon BEL - 73
4. Mitch Chubey CAN - 72
5. Mike Hopkins CAN – 69.5
6. Garett Buehler CAN - 68.75
7. Brendan Fairclough GBR – 68.25
8. Paul Basagoitia USA - 68
9. Mike Montgomery USA – 67.75
10. Kelly McGarry NZL - 67.25
11. Nico Vink BEL - 66
12. Ramon Hunziker SUI – 65.25
13. Brendan Howey CAN - 63
14. Ryan Howard – USA – 60.25
PREQUALIFIED TO FINALS
Andreu Lacondeguy ESP
Antoine Bizet FRA
Brandon Semenuk CAN
Cam McCaul USA
Cameron Zink USA
Geoff Gulevich CAN
James Doerfling CAN
Kyle Norbraten CAN
Kyle Strait USA
Logan Binggeli USA
Thomas Vanderham CAN
Tyler McCaul USA
Wil White USA
In the finals, each rider will get two shots at the course and their best run score counts. Competitors will be judged on style, amplitude, fluidity, and difficulty of line. In addition, the athlete who throws down the most amazing trick during the finals will also be presented with a Red Bull Rampage Best Trick award by the Utah Sports Commission.
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