As the only competitor to have ever won the event four times over its 20-year history, Brandon Semenuk is the king of Red Bull Rampage. And to top it off, last year Semenuk won the event riding a bike with a single crown fork – an unthinkable act and bike build more akin to slopestyle events than a massive downhill event with steeps, drops and cliffs like Rampage.
In parallel, Semenuk has been racing in the American Rally Association series alongside names like Ken Block, Travis Pastrana and more for a couple seasons now. This year, Semenuk has been in the championship fight and is currently sitting in second-place just behind Ken Block. The problem is the final race of the year that will determine the championship takes place right in the middle of the Red Bull Rampage window when riders are supposed to be building, digging and practicing their lines for the mountain bike competition.
After much personal debate, Semenuk has decided to compete in both, just days apart from one another, in what is akin to the “Double Duty” in motorsports racing. Granted, this feat doesn’t occur on the exact same day, but it’s no less physically and mentally demanding to both compete for the rally championship in a grueling off-road rally race in Michigan, then fly cross-country to quickly build, practice and compete in what is well regarded as the most challenging event in all of freeride mountain biking.
To juggle both, Brandon arrived in Utah on Monday to register and walk the Rampage course. He flew to Michigan the next day to practice and race in the ARA series, leaving behind his 2-person dig crew at Rampage to build his line without his help or oversight. Once the rally race finishes on the 15th he will immediately fly back to Utah where he picks up his shovel and resumes digging his line, begins practice for that event, then competes and attempts to become the first-ever 5-time champion in Red Bull Rampage history on October 21st live on ESPN+. It will truly be an athletic feat of physical and mental prowess. We’ve never had an athlete ask to do something like this in Rampage history so that will be a first as well.
The inaugural Red Bull Rampage was held in 2001, and last year we celebrated 20 years of Red Bull Rampage. Since then, 15 different events and 9 different winners have earmarked their place in the history books. This year we’ll look to spotlight the future of freeriding - from the new crop of athletes grabbing the baton and continuing to innovate the sport, to the changemakers that drive the scene, to the mind-blowing action itself.
The competition format will remain the same, with an elite group of riders carving their ultimate lines into the side of near-vertical sandstone ridges with the help of their two-person build crews. In advance of the competition, riders and their support crew will spend four days building their lines, followed by a rest day, and then four practice days. All the preparation will end in an epic showdown in the desert, where only one will ride away as the champion of the 2022 Red Bull Rampage.
To stay up to date on the latest Red Bull Rampage information, including confirmation of the official rider list, venue details, ESPN+ and Red Bull TV tune-in times, and spectator and ticketing info, follow @RedBullBike and visit the event website here.
Red Bull Rampage is proudly supported by T-Mobile, BFGoodrich, KMC Wheels, Michelin, Polaris, Utah Sports Commission, Backcountry.com, and adidas Five Ten.