Red Bull Rampage 2012 continued the unique tradition of the world’s premier big-mountain event, bringing progressive moves and creative line selection to a world-renowned venue in southwestern Utah and pushing the evolution of what riders believe is possible.
Canada’s Kurt Sorge topped an already impressive first run -- one that put him in the lead -- with a second run that pushed him even further ahead, destroying any doubt that the 2012 title belonged to him. A confident approach to the upper section of his line (with a no-handed drop high on the course), a big drop before a shot through the Oakley Icon Sender and a superman jump and backflip step-down all combined to make Sorge’s run tops for the day.
France’s Antoine Bizet ran into trouble early in his first run but still managed to rile up the crowd as he casually made his way down to them, which only increased everyone’s anticipation for his second attempt. He scored redemption then with a hard and fast line in the upper section of the course which included a quick backflip in tight quarters, following with a big flip over the jump after the Oakley Icon Sender. As a result, Bizet rocketed into second place in his rookie Red Bull Rampage appearance.
St. George, Utah local Logan Binggeli (pictured above) landed on the podium in third with traversing lines across the upper canyon, huge flips and a launch into the quarterpipe/wallride. Spain’s Andreu Lacondeguy earned his second consecutive fourth-place finish at Red Bull Rampage, and Tyler McCaul rounded out the top five with a fast line peppered with multiple burly drops.
Other highlights included Kyle Norbraten’s back-to-back 360 drops, Kyle Strait’s inverts over drop sections, Nico Vink’s solid style throughout his runs, and Cameron McCaul’s step-down flip near the end of his run, which earned him the Utah Sports Commission’s Best Trick Award.
Event favorites Brandon Semenuk and Darren Berrecloth had ambitious plans for their runs, with each landing the more dangerous sections (Semenuk’s wild transfer drop and Berrecloth’s near-vertical routes) only to suffer from minor missteps later in their runs that hurt their scores. Semenuk was able to take solace in the fact that he still earned the year-end FMB World Tour title, however.
Unfortunately, injuries kept several riders out of the Finals, as Red Bull Rampage 2010 winner Cam Zink and second-place finisher Gee Atherton were both forced to withdraw after crashes during Saturday's practice session. Casey Groves pulled out after a last-minute practice crash on Sunday morning, and Brendan Fairclough, a first-timer at the event who was lighting the course up in the week leading up the event and built a huge canyon gap to launch in the Finals, decided to sit out after a crash in the Qualifier on Friday.
With many of the competitors arriving on site with larger build crews than ever before, new routes and features were brought into the mix, a trend that is sure to continue. The evolution of big-mountain riding and of the Red Bull Rampage event itself will persist, shedding light on newer players like Bizet while inspiring every rider to find their own way down the mountain.
1. Kurt Sorge
2. Antoine Bizet
3. Logan Binggeli
4. Andreu Lacondeguy
5. Tyler McCaul
6. James Doerfling
7. Cameron McCaul
8. Thomas Vanderham
9. Kyle Strait
10. Kyle Norbraten
11. Geoff Gulevich
12. Wil White
13. Nico Vink
14. Brandon Semenuk
15. Martin Söderström
16. Ramon Hunziker
17. Brett Rheeder
18. Pierre Edouard Ferry
19. Darren Berrecloth
20. Brendan Howey
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- See photos from the qualifying round
- Red Bull Rampage 2012 competitor info
- Raising the Stakes at Red Bull Rampage