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No Dig No Ride

Red Bull Rampage - Practice Week Photo Story

Words Matt Bruhns
Photos Matt Bruhns
Date Oct 15, 2021
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Welcome to Utah

10 days of building and practice wrapped up an intense day today at Red Bull Rampage.

Crews have been going full speed to get everything together before the main event kicks off on Friday, and a combination of technical builds and weather delays left some crews hustling to get their lines ready.

Riders have been slowly working their way up the hill, sessioning their lines and looking for that elusive flow through the steep and exposed terrain. Today, the last day of practice, saw several riders take severe crashes while attempting the biggest features of their lines.

The original field of 15 riders is down to 13 for finals tomorrow after Andreu Lacondeguy's withdrawal after a crash on Tuesday, and a heavy crash today by Carson Storch resulting in a broken collarbone. Brage Vestavik also came up short late in the day while guinea pigging his massive drop and his status for tomorrow is unknown. Lastly, Cam Zink crashed hard today backflipping the big drop in his line. A quick ER visit revealed no significant injuries and clearance to ride finals tomorrow, but the start list for tomorrow is still TBD.

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Tyler McCaul digging in the gold dirt after Tuesday morning's rain event

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Carson Storch

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Andreu Lacondeguy is on the shelf after injuries suffered in a hard crash on Tuesday.

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Dave Smutok, head of the Highland Parks team that builds and runs the water supply for all dig crews. Kind of a big deal.

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Cam Zink

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Vinny T & Andreu Lacondeguy

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The upper lines for this year's event: Reed and Brage's lines go off from the top to lookers right, all other riders go left.

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Bender, Rampage Spirit Animal.

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Session in between digging. Riders typically start their day on the jump section at bottom and work their way up to the more consequential and exposed features higher in their lines.

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Thomas Genon & Carson Storch

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Kyle Strait looking over the edge of his big drop.

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The lower jump zone is the last set of features before the finish

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Evan "The Intern" Young putting the finishing touches on Brandon's line.

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Andreu Lacondeguy in the lower jumps

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Brage Vestavik has a unique line on the ridge riders left of the main zone. He and Reed Boggs are the only two riders on this part of the course this year.

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Kurt Sorge no hander off the Mid-Road drop.

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Jaxson Riddle soaring into the darkness

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Thomas Genon, Belgian big mountain rider

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Kurt Sorge

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Carson Storch in the main chute off the top of his line

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Reed Boggs testing the lower drop in his line

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Brandon testing his tombstone hip on Wednesday.

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Tom van Steenbergen fully extended

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From dawn till after dusk, builders never sleep

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Tomorrow is the day

There were a couple of big crashes - including this one of Brage Vestavik below, on his huge drop captured by Darren Berrecloth

Andreu Lacondeguy's similarly unfortunate circumstances from earlier in the week below.

Coverage of the event begins on Red Bull TV at 10 AM PST and it appears the 20th anniversary will be one for the ages.

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Comments

craw
+1 Pete Roggeman
Cr4w  - Oct. 15, 2021, 8:04 a.m.

That drop by Brage Vestavik looks bigger than the one Super T pulled out of a hat to win in 2002. Drops of that magnitude are now a worthwhile risk in practice.

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cam@nsmb.com
+1 Cr4w
Cam McRae  - Oct. 15, 2021, 10:05 a.m.

Super burly. If you look at stills he came up quite short.  I wonder how much he needs to worry about his speed. Perhaps that is why he didn’t pop enough?

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