Brandon Semenuk is the first back-to-back winner in Rampage history
Brandon Semenuk’s attempt at Red Bull Rampage history almost went sideways. On his first run, he hit a jump with too much speed and had to bail off his Trek Session before his run had really gotten started.
He made Run 2 count. Riding a single-crown fork, Semenuk dug deep and scored an 89.00. On a windy day, the run was good enough to make him the first ever four-time Rampage winner, and first rider to win back-to-back titles, against a field of riders that had brought their very best to the event. (You can watch Semenuk’s run on Red Bull’s Instagram.)
“I think that was the first Rampage where the second runs outperformed the first runs,” Semenuk told Red Bull TV after the event. “Typically the wind in the afternoon, the runs kind of suffer because we’re battling with that, but everyone managed to keep it together. Insane.”
Typically, the intensity of Rampage necessitates a dual-crown fork. Semenuk’s RockShox Zeb 38mm fork was made to handle the extreme drops of the Colorado Plateau, however. He busted out a bar spin, back flip tail whip and a tail whip off a flat drop at Rampage to wow the judges.
“The first runs are always so hard because you’re so nervous. Obviously a big mistake, I just had way too much speed,” Semenuk said after his run. “As soon as I got up I was like, ‘OK, I need to go. I need to get back up there. I just want to get this done.’ The nerves were going the second run and I just wanted to put it down.”
The wind at the top of the course made an already treacherous event even more intense. Semenuk said he didn’t quite lay down every trick he wanted to do. Still, Semenuk at “90 percent,” in his own words, is still one of the bravest, skilled and creative mountain bikers in the world.
Semenuk won his first Rampage at the age of 17. He just won his fourth at the age of 30. An unbelievable day for an unbelievable rider.