Brandon Semenuk’s Masterful Run Wins His Third Red Bull Rampage
Great things come to those who wait, and that was evident at Red Bull Rampage 2019, where a windy morning gave way to immaculate contest conditions, giving the world’s best freeride athletes a perfect playground to display their abilities. In the end, the Canadians rose to the occasion to sweep the podium, with Brandon Semenuk taking first place, Brett Rheeder claiming second, and Tom van Steenbergen placing third on a sunny day in the Utah desert. Semenuk started his run with a massive 360 and highlighted it with an incredible backflip into a lily pad double drop. For his efforts, the 28-year-old British Columbia native was awarded his third career win and fourth career podium at Red Bull Rampage, tying Kurt Sorge for the all-time record in each of those respective categories.
Twenty of the world’s top freeriders participated in the 14th edition of the world’s premier freeride mountain biking competition, as thousands of fans watched in person and around the world live on Red Bull TV. Once again this year, viewers were aided by an improved augmented and virtual reality experience available on the Red Bull TV app, which allowed fans to scale and explore a photorealistic, 3D model of the mountain course while watching the thrilling competition. Fans interested in reliving all of the action can still rewatch the contest anytime, and enjoy the AR/VR experience on redbull.tv/rampage.
This year’s edition set a new standard of precision in the course’s build. By building out the 2019 event zone in the same area as 2018, dig teams were able to add additional intricacy into how they interweaved different lines with one another. And, by building features on top of existing lines, dig teams were able to create a bigger course than ever before, sculpting perfect takeoffs and landings for riders to fully showcase their riding abilities.
Semenuk was the eighth rider on the course and approached the starting gate with one thing on his mind: Redemption. After failing to finish his line at Red Bull Rampage 2018, Semenuk chose to ride the same line this year, threw down a monster first run–greasing a cork 360 on a rebuilt feature that he wasn’t able to land last year–and scoring a sterling 92.33 as a result. In his eighth Red Bull Rampage appearance, the phenom from Squamish was left watching as the rest of the field fought to catch up to him for the remainder of the event. Ultimately, that never happened, allowing Semenuk the luxury of indulging in a victory lap to the delight of the roaring crowd.
“Making it to the bottom of the hill, period,” said Semenuk when asked what he enjoyed most about winning this year’s Red Bull Rampage. “That makes a big difference.”
And despite already having two wins under his belt, the gravity of his record-tying third victory wasn’t lost on the Canadian freeride virtuoso.
“It’s hard to say,” Semenuk said when asked how this win compared to his prior wins. “Obviously, the last two wins were great too, but to take the third one, I’m speechless. I don’t know. It’s awesome.”
RED BULL RAMPAGE 2019 FINAL RESULTS
- Brandon Semenuk (CAN) – 92.33
- Brett Rheeder (CAN) – 91.00
- Tom van Steenbergen (CAN) – 89.66
- Brendan Fairclough (GBR) – 87.66
- Tyler McCaul (USA) – 87.00
- Szymon Godziek (POL) -86.66
- Ethan Nell (USA) – 86.00
- Carson Storch (USA) – 85.66
- Kyle Strait (USA) – 83.33
- Vincent Tupin (FRA) – 81.33
- Reed Boggs (USA) – 80.00
- Emil Johansson (SWE) – 79.00
- Graham Agassiz (CAN) – 76.33
- Thomas Genon (BEL) – 74.00
- Reece Wallace (CAN) – 72.00
- DJ Brandt (USA) – 70.33
- Andreu Lacondeguy (SPN) – 52.33
- Kurt Sorge (CAN) – 51.66
- Bienvenido Agua Alba (SPA) – 45.33
- Cam Zink (USA) – 36.66
Best Trick Winner—Red Bull Rampage 2019: Brett Rheeder, can-can backflip
Best Trick Award Presented by Maverik
The most progressive freeriding tricks are displayed at Red Bull Rampage every year, and in the 2019 edition of the competition, the bar was once again raised as Brett Rheeder landed a huge can-can backflip to claim the Best Trick Award, Presented by Maverik.
People’s Choice Award Winner—Red Bull Rampage 2019: Szymon Godziek
People’s Choice Award Presented by Utah Sports Commission
Thousands of fans voted online throughout the live Red Bull TV broadcast to determine the athlete that would take home the People’s Choice Award presented by Utah Sports Commission. Szymon Godziek took home the People’s Choice Award winning fans over with his bold choices throughout the contest.
Spirit Award Winner—Red Bull Rampage 2019: Tyler McCaul
Kelly McGarry Spirit Award Chosen by the Athletes
To commemorate the life of mountain biking legend Kelly McGarry, the participating athletes named local favorite Tyler McCaul as this year’s recipient of the Kelly McGarry Spirit Award. The criteria for the vote was to select the peer they thought most embodied McGarry’s spirit.
Best Dig Team—Red Bull Rampage 2019: Brett Rheeder’s (middle) two-man squad of Ben Byers (left) and Matt MacDuff (right)
Digger Award Presented by Venmo
To honor the hardest working Red Bull Rampage dig team this year, the Digger Award, presented by Venmo, was introduced. Voted on by the internal team that chooses and builds the Red Bull Rampage Course every year, Brett Rheeder’s team was chosen as the inaugural winner of the Digger Award for exemplifying perfect team chemistry and hard work in their quest to build the most progressive line on the course.