When the rope drops on day one at Red Bull Rampage, the athletes get serious. The world’s bravest big-mountain riders started carving, chopping and shoveling their uniquely creative visions into the mountainside near Virgin, Utah, Friday, the opening of the course build period. From big ol’ drops to delicately-sculpted, off-camber weirdness, this year’s brand new venue offers a lot for riders to sink their tools into.
“This morning was a mix between a hare scramble, a Baja race… and Vietnam,” says 2010 Red Bull Rampage champ Cam Zink, referring to the race to stake claim on fresh lines. “We’re just running up the hill.”
The uphill race raised some minor tensions between certain riders while they jockeyed for the best lines and features, but in the end most came to agreement, albeit sometimes an uneasy one.
Geoff Gulevich sums up the relationship well: “People are getting territorial already… It’s tricky because you have to make little alliances. ‘We’re going to join up here, that’s cool, right?’ ‘All right, all right, back to being frenemies.'”
From nervous rookie to Rampage veteran, the overall mood was one of anticipation for what will come next Sunday.
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