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2001 vs. 2022: How much has Red Bull Rampage changed?

Bigger tricks, better bikes and more helicopters

Photo by: Rocky Mountain // Robin O'Neill / Red Bull Content Pool

When Red Bull Rampage celebrated its 16th edition on Friday in Utah, the top three runs were absolutely stunning feats of mountain bike skill and commitment. Huge jumps combined with highly technical tricks and steep, rowdy sections.

But how much has the event changed over the last 21 years? How much bigger are riders going this year than they were two decades ago? There’s no better way to find out than to watch Wade Simmons’ 2001 winning run from the first Rampage together with Brett Rheeder’s 2022 winning run.

Watching the two videos back-to-back, it is incredible to see how far the sport has advanced. Riders, but also building technique and mountain bike equipment. The scale of the event is so much bigger today, too. Helicopter cameras, drones, huge crowds and all the infrastructure of a high-profile event, compared to the more grassroots appearance of that first year.

It remains truly impressive what the riders at the first Red Bull Rampage accomplished way back in 2001. It’s equally impressive how far the current generation has brought the sport based on those early foundations.

2001: Wade Simmons Inaugural Red Bull Rampage

Now let’s take a look at the top three runs from 2022. Brandon Semenuk and Brett Rheeder both had single-crown forks with them in the desert so they could do tail whips. Szymon Godziek combined 360s with a massive canyon gap backflip. The lines are still rough, but with much better construction on take-off and landings making the course at least a little more predictable.

2022: Top Three Runs from Red Bull Rampage