September 30th, Thursday morning, my alarm goes off at 4:30 a.m. I load up the car and off I go to my second Red Bull Rampage in Virgin, Utah. As anxious as I was, the 8-½ hour drive felt like it took forever. Finally, I roll in to Virgin, and I head straight towards the hill. Finally, I arrive to the event site and I remember it as it was last time, REALLY BIG.
Many of the features were the same from the previous Rampage, but there were definitely some new things. As you look at the riders work on their lines and get settled in, you know that these riders showed up to win and are going to push the limits.
Friday October 1st was for qualifying, and the ten qualifiers would advance to Sunday’s final. Riders rode difficult lines, with some riders making it down clean, and others going down hard. With qualifying a wrap, people know that the limits will have to be pushed even more for Sunday’s finals.
Saturday October 2nd was a practice day. It was really low key, with riders only practicing in the early morning and the late afternoon. Towards the afternoon a nasty storm started to roll in. It looked like desert storm with all the dust blowing around and no visibility. Luckily, I got to my car right when the storm came in. I headed back to St. George for some evening rest-up for Sunday’s final.
Sunday October 3rd my alarm went off at 7 a.m. I gathered my things and headed to the site early, because I knew the riders were going to show up early for some practice. Riders gathered at the bottom for the riders meeting, and shortly after, they picked up their bikes and started their long hike up to their starting gate for the 10 a.m. start time.
All us photographers set up in our spots, the chopper was in the air, and the count down began, “3,2,1 rider on course”. The Red Bull Rampage finals were under way. As the riders came down the hill, a storm was slowly creeping in. Again, the riders pushed their limits, with a few making it down clean, but others not having such good luck.
After a short break, riders headed up the mountain for round two. The winds picked up and the dark clouds started to fill the sky. Slowly, they sent the riders down. Some had some bad luck with the wind, and finally the riders refused to ride because the weather was getting too dangerous.
After a break in the weather, the riders headed back up the hill to finish round two. Man, the riders really threw down with Cameron Zinks spinning a 360 off the Oakley Icon Sender, and Darren Berrecloth rode the most difficult technical line.
In the end, Cameron Zink was crowned Champion, and Rampage goes down in history. My trip was great, and tiring. Rampage is a unique event, and as long as there is one, I will be there. I packed up my car and was soon home bound.
P.S. Just giving a thanks to Cam McRae at NSMB.com for letting me work for them, Nick Moore for putting me up, and also Bobby Jones, with Red Bull, for putting me up the last night.
You guys can check more images Here