Sorge returns as king of the mountain at Red Bull Rampage

Author’s note: All licensed images were obtained at the event and are published with the express permission of Red Bull Media House North America Inc.

VIRGIN – When the dust finally settled Friday at the final round of Red Bull Rampage – the energy drink juggernaut’s freeride mountain bike competition held in Virgin – it was Kurt Sorge, of Canada, who claimed the top spot as king of the mountain.

Red Bull Rampage freeride mountain bike competition, Virgin, Utah, Oct. 16, 2015 | All licensed images are printed with the express permission of Red Bull Media House North America, Inc., Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News
Red Bull Rampage freeride mountain bike competition, Virgin, Utah, Oct. 16, 2015 | All licensed images are printed with the express permission of Red Bull Media House North America, Inc. Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

In a day that was highlighted by big spills and even bigger thrills, Sorge, who also won in 2012, rose to the top of the elite group of cyclists gathered in Virgin’s desert and became just the second rider – after Kyle Strait – to take the title at Red Bull Rampage twice.

“I can’t believe it. Once again, stoked that my run came together,” Sorge said. “I knew what I wanted to do when I was coming here, but to really put it down is another thing.”

Friday’s finals marked the end of the 10th edition of Rampage and showcased a sport that is steadily gaining in popularity as well as progressing in innovation and difficulty.

Riders are judged on the aggressiveness of their line from the top of the mountain to the bottom as well as their speed, technicality and tricks.

A few of the riders crashed out at Friday’s final, including Paul “Bass” Basagoitia, who came off a drop with huge speed and lost control. A medical team attended to him on the mountain until he was transported via helicopter to St. George to undergo a leg consultation, according to announcers at the event.

A medical helicopter airlifts rider Paul Bass to the hospital after crashing at Red Bull Rampage, Virgin, Utah, Oct. 16, 2015 | All licensed images are printed with the express permission of Red Bull Media House North America, Inc., Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News
A medical helicopter airlifts rider Paul Bass to the hospital after he crashes at Red Bull Rampage, Virgin, Utah, Oct. 16, 2015 | All licensed images are printed with the express permission of Red Bull Media House North America, Inc. Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

St. George resident and professional mountain biker Logan Binggeli qualified in the fourth spot coming into Friday’s event, but he failed to crack the top 12 at finals, a feat which would have earned him an automatic entrance into 2016’s finals.

Binggeli settled for 15th place but was in good spirits after the competition and happy, he said, to be healthy and in one piece.

For fans of freeride mountain biking, Rampage is a perfect opportunity to get close to the action, and hundreds of people made the nearly 4-mile pilgrimage on bikes and foot from the base of the mountain to the top.

Crowds dotted the desert landscape surrounding the event, and some of the more rowdy ones came dressed in unique garb, carrying blow horns and signs.

St. George resident and professional mountain biker Logan Bingelli competes in the Red Bull Rampage freeride mountain bike competition, Virgin, Utah, Oct. 16, 2015 | All licensed images are printed with the express permission of Red Bull Media House North America, Inc., Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News
St. George resident and professional mountain biker Logan Binggeli competes in the Red Bull Rampage freeride mountain bike competition, Virgin, Utah, Oct. 16, 2015 | All licensed images are printed with the express permission of Red Bull Media House North America, Inc. Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

Mother Nature proved to be the biggest challenge for organizers of the race as well as riders as finals, which were originally planned for Saturday, were rescheduled due to threats of thundershowers; high winds halted riding action near the end of Friday’s competition.

“The toughest part out here is just Mother Nature – the wind, the weather, your runs are getting blown out,” Sorge said, “so they told us initially that we might only get one run, so it was kind of lay it down on the line.”

Due to the winds, some of the riders opted not to take their second runs, including 2014’s winner Spaniard Andreu Lacondeguy.

Lacondeguy’s first run garnered enough points for second place, with Graham Agassiz of Canada rounding out the top three.

“Best trick” was awarded to Sam Reynolds, of the United Kingdom, and the “People’s Choice Award,” which was voted on by fans who tuned into the live streaming of the event, went to Brandon Semenuk, of Canada.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

 

 

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1 Comment

  • r2d2 October 17, 2015 at 12:26 am

    Nice event but dust for the locals was out of control. Security people had no restrooms and had to use the sage brush, in plane view.

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