Last updated on October 15th, 2023 at 01:01 PM
It took 13 years, but American Cam Zink added his second Red Bull Rampage title at the 17th edition to the trophy that he won in 2010 over the world’s toughest freeride mountain bike event in the Utah desert on Friday.
Seventeen of the world’s best riders brought their A-game to the Southwest Utah desert with the star-studded event near the town of Virgin featuring no shortage of mind-bending tricks and harrowing terrain.
The event made history with T-Mobile helping to provide 5G-connected first-person view (FPV) drones that captured the riders’ runs for the live show – highlighting never-before-seen angles and more.
The 2023 title was claimed by Zink as the only athlete to drop fall line into the incredibly steep “Grandfather drop” then sticking a 55-foot jump leading into a massive backflip on a 63-foot step down – recreated from his iconic 2013 run – to see him score 95 points.
The 37-year-old said: “It takes a lot for a run to line up, and after I cased that jump (run 1) my jitters and nervousness switched to competitiveness.
I was ready to go again and tackle my second run, and I knew the wind wouldn’t ruin this for me. I’m glad I reached for the stars and got the win.
The original Sender was 10 years ago, and my last win was 13 years ago and it was still the biggest step-down flip I’ve ever done, and here we are again. It’s still just as intimidating and scary. I’ve put in a lot of work, and I feel fortunate to still push it at 37 – the oldest to compete here.”
Canadian Tom van Steenbergen’s runner-up run was a comeback story two years in the making as he started with a caveman drop and kept the momentum going by throwing a big 360 and a highly technical flat drop backflip on his biggest feature to bank a deserved podium spot.
Sharing the same line, American Carson Storch trailed closely behind his good friend in third with an impressive run featuring a backflip and two of his signature 360 spins. The duo then skipped their second runs for the first Red Bull Rampage party train down to the finish corral.
Other riders to shine included Spanish rider Bienvenido Aguado Alba, who won three different awards as his massive 70+ foot front flip over the canyon gap took home the Utah Sports Commission Best Trick Award, the T-Mobile People’s Choice Award and the Kelly McGarry Spirit Award.
Alba revealed: “I’ve been thinking about the front flip for the whole year. The speed required is so scary, and that was the big challenge for pulling it off. And it worked twice! Since 2019, when I made my rookie mistake, I’ve been working to get back here.”
Two-time winner Kyle Strait won the BFGoodrich Tires Toughness Award after conquering the same line where he injured his back on last year, while Swede Emil Johansson won the Michelin Style Award for his fluidity and flow on the course, as well as his unique trick combinations. The Carvana Digger Award went to the team of local rider Reed Boggs.
2023 Red Bull Rampage result
1. Cam Zink USA 95.00
2. Tom Van Steenbergen CAN 89.00
3. Carson Storch USA 87.00
4. Brendan Fairclough GBR 86.66
5. Talus Turk USA 84.00
6. Kyle Strait USA 83.58
7. Emil Johansson SWE 82.83
8. Bienvenido Aguado Alba ESP 79.44
9. Thomas Genon BEL 77.41
10. Reed Boggs USA 76.73
11. DJ Brandt USA 73.51
12. Alex Volokhov CAN 72.00
13. Kurt Sorge CAN 69.66
14. Jaxson Riddle USA 68.00
15. Adolf Silva ESP 51.33
16. Szymon Godziek POL 0.00
17. Clemens Kaudela AUT 0.00