Kyle Strait became the first two-time Red Bull Rampage champion yesterday, October 13, 2013, on a gusty day down in Southern Utah during some of the most exhilarating moments the sport of freeride mountain biking has ever seen. This Red Bull Rampage was the “expect the unexpected” day of some of the biggest backflips in mountain bike history. Mother Nature wasn’t being too cooperative which made it impossible for some riders to do their second ride in the finals, so Kyle Strait held the top position at 87.50 when the Rampage was called, and he won for the second time, eight years after his first Red Bull Rampage title.
There were multiple insane moments that caught everyone off guard while watching these athletes speed down the course. The stunt that pulled Strait to the top was a fluid quick style at the top with a huge technical no-hander off the signature Oakley Icon Sender feature – dropping over 70 feet and landing clean. Judge and mountain bike pro Aaron Chase said, “Strait’s run was everything a Red Bull Rampage run should be. He rolled the dice but also rode with 100% confidence. He rode really strong, looked really good and there weren’t any flaws in his run. He earned it.” The first time Strait won the Rampage was when he was only 17-years-old. He first competed when he was only 14.
Second place winner and Red Bull Bike People’s Choice award went to New Zealander Kelly McGarry, and it was very well deserved. McGarry did a backflip off the treacherous 73-foot canyon gap then stuck the rest of his line with a corked-out flip up high which gained praise of the 400,000 fans watching online around the world that voted him as the first-ever Red Bull Bike People’s Choice award. McGarry stated, “Last night I was freaking out, wondering if I should do it. But I had the speed, it felt right, so I just sent it!”
Cam Zink took the Utah Sports Commission Best Trick award and third place on the podium with his phenomenal 78-foot backflip that he had been planning for months, and it required him to build his own kicker ramp to get the angle needed to attempt it. It earned him a hearty congratulations and hug from Kyle Strait. Zink said, “It felt like I was upside down for what seemed forever, and I thought I was going to land on my head, but then I landed it, and it’s a feeling I just can’t explain.”
After all the action and jaw-dropping backflips that were performed this year, the bar has been raised extremely high for the next Red Bull Rampage. The progression of the riders continues to impress beyond words, and it’ll be exciting to see how that progression will continue in the next Red Bull Rampage.
If you missed seeing it in person or during the live webcast, watch the full Red Bull Rampage 2013 as part of the Red Bull Signature Series on NBC, December 21, 2013, at 2:30 p.m. ET.
Red Bull Rampage Final Results:
1. Kyle Strait USA – 87.50
2. Kelly McGarry NZL – 86.75
3. Cameron Zink USA – 84.75
4. Andreu Lacondeguy ESP - 84.25
5. Tyler McCaul USA - 80.50
6. Pierre Edouard Ferry FRA - 76.50
7. Cam McCaul USA - 75.75
8. Brendan Fairclough GBR – 75.50
9. Garett Buehler CAN - 74.50
10. Thomas Genon BEL - 72.50
11. Ramon Hunziker SUI - 71.50
12. Mike Montgomery USA - 66.75
13. Logan Binggeli USA – 66.25
14. Wil White USA - 64.75
15. Geoff Gulevich CAN - 64.25
16. Nico Vink BEL - 63.75
17. Graham Agassiz CAN - 56.25
18. Kyle Norbraten CAN - 53.75
19. Brendan Howey CAN - 52.00
The following riders had a score of 0.00 because they did not complete their run: Mike Hopkins (CAN), Brandon Semenuk (CAN), James Doerfling (CAN), Antoine Bizet (FRA), Paul Basagoitia (USA), Mitch Chubey (CAN).