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Photo Gallery—Readying for Rampage

After wild weather threw competitors a curveball late Monday, athletes are back on course, digging and riding in anticipation of Friday's final


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Photos: Satchel Cronk

The 20th anniversary of Red Bull Rampage is underway in the Utah desert, and already, it’s unfolded in dramatic fashion, as wild weather threw competitors a curveball while they were digging their lines on Monday afternoon. Blue skies transformed into ominous clouds that unleashed sheets of rain onto the mesas of southern Utah, where 15 of the world’s best freeriders and their crews were diligently carving lines into the cliffs above Virgin, Utah, resulting in a weather hold that lasted until 3 p.m. on Tuesday. After they were cleared to return to the venue, riders began making up for lost time as best as possible, practicing some features while dig crews worked on other parts of their lines, in anticipation of Friday’s final. Practice continues today at the venue, which was last used for Rampage in 2016 and 2017, and the forecast is currently calling for sunny skies for the rest of the week. The big-mountain show goes down on Friday, when riders will drop into their carefully sculpted lines, and undoubtedly once again raise the collective bar for what’s possible on a bike.

Many of this year’s competitors also took part in Rampage at the same venue in 2017, and are using parts of their old lines as a foundation for their new ones.

 

Andreu Lacondeguy crashed hard in practice on late Tuesday when he overjumped a technical section of his line, resulting in multiple broken bones. Lacondeguy is scheduled to be in surgery next week. “This is one of the most painful moments of my career,” he wrote on Instagram. “The broken bones hurt, but not being able to ride the event after all I’ve been through this last year is what hurts the most.”

 

Kyle Strait and Cam Zink's diggers get creative while packing the line.
The fresh moisture created an ideal canvas for diggers to shape competitors' dream lines.

 

Szymon Godziek gets reacquainted with the Utah desert.

 

Local Jaxson Riddle makes his Rampage debut this week, after growing up watching the event in his backyard.

 

Riddle knows a thing or two about big-mountain desert style.
Godziek with the view from above.

Rampage legend Kyle Strait, who competed in the first Rampage in 2001 as a 14-year-old and has won the event twice, readies for another run in the desert.

 

Rampage practice—hike up, fly down.

 

Riddle mid-air on his home turf. His comfort level with the terrain is already apparent in practice—Riddle has ridden the most of any competitor, and has linked up most of his line.
Lacondeguy in flight in practice before his heartbreaking crash. Lacondeguy had plans to double flip this jump in Friday's finals.

Rampage Still Life.

 

Rampage Still Life Pt. 2.

 

Tom van Steenbergen warms up. TVS is known for big flips on huge drops, so he’s definitely one to watch on Friday.