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Results: Brett Rheeder wins second Red Bull Rampage

Wind cuts competition short in Utah

Photo by: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool

Canada’s incredible success at Red Bull Rampage continued on Friday. While wind shortened the event, pausing competition after all riders had finished one run, Brett Rheeder already had the points he needed to earn the win.

Rheeder’s victory extends a Canadian winning streak at Red Bull Rampage that extends all the way back to 2015. Together, Rheeder, Brandon Semenuk and Kurt Sorge have wins at the last seven Red Bull Rampage events.

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Brett Rheeder pauses while digging his line in Utah. Photo: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool

For Rheeder, the win caps off an emotional comeback. The Mout Albert, Ont. rider stepped back from competition for a period. His return was postponed by an injury that took him out of Rampage in 2021. Proving Grounds was the Canadian’s first competition since 2019.

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Brett Rheeder whips at high speed in the desert. Photo: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool

Judges rewarded Rheeder’s trick-filled first run with a score of 90.66.

“I was pretty unsure what was going to happen this year. I had a lot of changes I went through as a person, and I didn’t know if I’d ever get back to this level of riding,”29-year-old Rheeder said, adding “So, I didn’t come out to win, to be honest. I just wanted to make sure whatever I did was for me.”

Szymon Godziek rode a massive 360-drop and canyon gap backflip combo to second place overall, with an 86.33.

Szymon Godziek backflips the canyon gap to take second. Photo: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool

“I wasn’t sure if I should do the 360 in the first run or the second run,” Godziek shared after his surprise 360 into a double drop before the canyon gap. “It was a last-call decision, and it was super scary. It was by far the scariest thing of my life. It worked out but it was super heavy.”

Brandon Semenuk placed third, with 84 points, but also brings home the best trick award for his thrilling caveman drop into the course off of the starting platform.

Brandon Semenuk had a daunting start to his Rampage run. Photo: Robin O’Neill / Red Bull Content Pool

Semenuk was considering two different and very technical starts to his run, but couldn’t miss the opportunity for such a distinctive entry. “I thought, If I’m going to do it, I might as well go all in and do the slightly scarier thing. It’s just way too cool to pass up.”

2022 Red Bull Rampage podium: Szymon Godziek, Brett Rheeder, Brandon Semenuk Photo: Garth Milan / Red Bull Content Pool

“Huge thanks to the boys for building that, it’s so steep up there,” Semnuk added. His two-person build crew started the week alone. Semenuk was busy winning the final round, and series overall, of the American Rally Association at the Lake Superior Rally. That put extra pressure on his Rampage build crew to start the line without him present.

Tom Van Steenbergen made an incredible return to Rampage just 12 months after a serious crash. Photo: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool

Another Canadian earned the McGazza Spirit Award. Tom van Steenbergen takes home the rider-voted award for his inspiring return to Rampage just one year after a nearly career-ending crash at the 2021 event.

“It was definitely not easy coming back from that crash. Making that decision was tough. You don’t want to take someone’s spot away. I had more planned in that run, but I’m just happy to be back,” van Steenbergen said after the event. For the Canadian, the McGazza award carries a special significance. He witnessed in person when Kelly McGarry landed his infamous canyon gap at the same venue. “That was actually my first Rampage. He was just such a nice guy and so supportive. Him and Jordie [Lunn] are always in our thoughts, always here with us. I’m honoured.”

Three-time winner Kurt Sorge rolled into seventh with 74 points. Tom van Steenbergen was 12th with 63.66. Alex Volokhov, the fifth Canadian on the start list, crashed in practice Friday morning and did not start his run.