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Proving Grounds Returns This Fall

The freeride competition now includes men's and women's fields, but is no longer a Red Bull Rampage qualifier

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The Proving Grounds freeride competition returns to the Oregon Dirt Park this year after a COVID-induced break in 2020, and will be re-shaped to include men’s and women’s fields. The Five Ten-sponsored festival will take place September 10 and 11 in the park near Bend, Oregon, and includes men’s and women’s Open categories, a Jump Jam and two nights of camping, live music, product demos, movie premieres, food trucks and a 10 Barrel-sponsored beer garden.

Proving Grounds 2019 blurred the lines between big-mountain and slopestyle. Photo: Peter Jamison

The competition emerged in 2019 as a qualifier for Red Bull Rampage—it was founded by Rampage organizer Todd Barber—though it will no longer serve that purpose. Instead, it will branch off as its own freeride event and soon-to-be series. 

“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,” Barber says. Proving Grounds will provide a platform for athletes to show what they are capable of on a human-made course that will feature multiple lines to let athletes choose their own path and style, with huge drops, massive doubles, berm presses, and rhythm sections.

The format blurred the lines between Big Mountain and Slopestyle, and for the first time, athletes were allowed to choose their line from multiple options that suited their skill, style, and strengths. From Reed Boggs’ flawless win to Casey Brown’s historic run, the event was a game-changer and was celebrated by the athletes, fans, media, and industry.  

Brown was the only woman invited in 2019, but this year, she’ll be joined by seven other top female freeriders, all of whom recently took part in Red Bull Formation. The invited men’s field numbers 22.

“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,” Brown said. 

Casey Brown Proving Grounds
Casey Brown soared to new heights at Proving Grounds in 2019, where she was the only woman invited to the freeride competition. Photo: Peter Jamison

The full list of invitees is as follows:

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 Rogatkin (USA)

Paul Genovese (CAN)

Reece Wallace (CAN)

Reed Boggs (USA)

Tom Isted (GBR)

Tom Van Steenbergen (CAN)

*There will be a Confirmed Rider announcement at a later date.