Hannah Bergemann and Harriet Burbidge-Smith are among the 12 top female mountain bike freeriders taking part in this week’s third Red Bull Formation edition as they aim to push the boundaries of the sport over innovative lines in Utah.
Red Bull Formation’s roots go back to 2017 and American legend Rebecca Rusch, who saw a sizeable void for women in the ultimate MTB test of freeriding and was eager to get more female riders involved.
Acclaimed MTB downhill rider Katie Holden soon entered the conversation and she began sketching the outlines of a women’s freeride camp, which ultimately became the first Red Bull Formation in 2019.
Six riders were invited to the inaugural Formation at the remote Virgin, Utah bike outpost with eight riders taking part at the 2021 event which was covered in a fascinating Red Bull TV documentary.
The 2022 edition started on May 8 and ends on May 15 with the elite riders scouting and then sculpting freeride lines before shredding them in top-to-bottom runs, while also being given the tools, resources, mentorship, and visibility to propel women’s freeriding forward.
The 12 athletes were hand-picked by a selection committee made up of four professional female athletes and members of the media and industry veterans with the selections based on several factors such as experience, handling skills, air awareness, overall style, mental strength and potential.
There are four new faces this year – Burbidge-Smith, Robin Goomes, Louise Ferguson and Georgia Astle as Briton Vero Sandler makes her return this year after taking part in the first 2019 edition.
American Bergemann, 25, who has ridden at all three editions, declared: “This event really kickstarted a movement in women’s freeride and helped open doors for women in the sport.
Now there are more events with female riders, more women pushing the sport and more opportunities for women to pursue freeride.”
2022 Red Bull Formation riders
- Cami Nogueria (Argentina)
- Casey Brown (Canada)
- Chelsea Kimball (USA)
- Georgia Astle (Canada)
- Hannah Bergemann (USA)
- Harriet Burbidge-Smith (Australia)
- Louise Ferguson (United Kingdom)
- Robin Goomes (New Zealand)
- Sam Soriano (USA)
- Vaea Verbeeck (Canada)
- Vero Sandler (United Kingdom)
- Vinny Armstrong (New Zealand)