Women’s freeride went to another level at Red Bull Formation

Highlights from Casey Brown, "Haz" Burbidge-Smith and Vinny Armstrong in Virgin, Utah

Lead photo courtesy Red Bull.

Women’s freeride has been progressing by leaps and bounds over the last few years, and Red Bull Formation this past week was the perfect example. For seven days, 12 riders — including Trek’s Casey Brown, Harriet “Haz” Burbidge-Smith and Vinny Armstrong — and their teams of diggers created and rode jaw-dropping lines in Virgin, Utah, and took the sport to another level. 

When Formation was started in 2019, it was a groundbreaking event centered on progression and community. Unlike many freeride events, there’s no formal competition — no judges, no scores. Instead, riders spend three days testing features and compiling top-to-bottom runs on mind-blowing terrain — the site also hosted Red Bull Rampage in 2015 — and helping and encouraging one another.

Casey Brown leaving a trail of dust. | Photo courtesy Red Bull

Today, women’s freeride is bigger than ever, with more and more events incorporating women, including established events like Darkfest, Audi Nines and Proving Grounds, and start-up women-only events like Dark Horse, which was started by Brown last year. At every stop, the bar is being raised higher and higher.

“The progression witnessed this year was spectacular and truly marks a turning point for women’s freeride mountain biking,” said Katie Holden, one of Red Bull Formation’s founding organizers. “Since last year, we have seen a tremendous amount of confidence from the riders. From tackling steep drops to choosing lines that played to their styles of riding and incorporating tricks, we hit a major milestone.”

Haz acknowledging the crowd. | Photo courtesy Red Bull

It’s mind-blowing to think how much women’s freeride has grown in such a short time, thanks to just a bit more investment from the sport’s biggest powers. Check out some highlights from this year’s Red Bull Formation for just a taste of how amazing the future is going to be.

Highlights and final runs courtesy of Pinkbike. Check out Casey, Haz and Vinny at 3:52, 6:05 and 11:22, respectively.

More incredible footage and vibes from Red Bull.

Haz bounced back from one of the hardest falls of the week.

Wanna see how Casey and company got to Utah? “HONK IF YOU FREE RIDE” Episode 1 is an absolute blast:

Be sure to check out Casey, Haz and Vinny on Instagram for more stoke from Virgin, Utah.

In this story