Video - 2014 Red Bull Rampage - Rampage Rookies
If I was taking part in the Red Bull Rampage for the first time I would be absolutely shitting bricks, but these guys seem to be taking it in their stride.
2014 Red Bull Rampage - Rampage Rookies
Every year Red Bull Rampage breaks in a few new riders, inviting them to scratch their own mark in the Utah mountains. For 2014, the list includes Kyle Jameson, Nick Pescetto, Carson Storch, Nicholi Rogatkin, KC Deane, Szymon Godziek, Bernard Kerr, Louis Reboul, Jeff Herbertson and Mitch Ropelato.
Most have visited before, either as members of a previous competitor's dig crew, or while shooting edits which ultimately showed event organizers that they were capable of riding the steep, demanding terrain.
On the other hand, some have never built in Utah.
Walking up here, I was like, 'They got the wrong site, man. This ain't rideable!'
"I actually got the invite right after [Red Bull] District Ride," recalls Rogatkin, who arrived on site with only his father in tow to help build. Thanks to social media, he was able to add two Utah locals to his crew.
Relatively new to mountain biking, Rogatkin has spent most of his time on a hardtail bike, rather than the big downhill machine that Rampage requires. He says that the late invite gave him "less than a week on my downhill bike to prepare."
The harsh landscape and difficult building conditions of the desert shocked a few rookies, including World Cup racer Mitch Ropelato, who only received his invite last Wednesday.
"Walking up here, I was like, 'They got the wrong site, man. This ain't rideable!'" he jokes in the video. "At World Cup's you can just show up and the trail's built."
Others, like KC Deane, were well prepared to deal with the task. Deane, who has been actively training to get into Rampage since 2012, has teamed up with Rampage veteran Paul Basagoitia and a few talented trail builders to build a line with huge exposure.
"This is what I want to do," he says. "I'm looking forward to qualifiers."
Anyway, here's the video...
Stay tuned to Dirt for all the latest 2014 Red Bull Rampage news, and come Sunday you'll be able to watch the main event live on the Red Bull site.
If you've missed out on the coverage so far then you can catch up below...