Red Bull is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Rampage and the event ended as it started way back in 2001: with a Canadian on the top step of the podium. In 2001, that was Wade Simmons writing his name in the history books. In 2021, Brandon Semenuk earned his own record-sitting victory.
With his win in Utah this year, Semenuk is the first back-to-back Red Bull Rampage winner and the first four-time champion at the iconic freeride event.
Here’s how the day played out. Scroll down for full 2021 Red Bull Rampage results.
Shaky first runs at Rampage 2021
The days events started off with a few minor crashes and mechanical difficulties in the early runs before Kurt Sorge, the first three-time Rampage champion put down a solid run to take the lead.
All big names in the 14-rider field followed. Tyler McCaul and Kyle Straight – the only rider to compete in every Rampage – both put in clean runs. Straight took the early lead with a 77.33.
Next up was Tom van Steenbergen. After a long wait for wind, and a game-time decision not to start with his trademark caveman drop, the Canadian rolled in. TvS sent a massive, historic front flip flat drop sending the crowd into a roaring frenzy. Just a moment later, the fans fell silent when van Steenbergen overshot the next back flip, going down hard. A long course hold followed as medical crews worked to get the rider safely off the mountain. He was later transported to a local hospital, with his condition still unknown.
The long medical hold left defending champion Brandon Semenuk waiting at the top of the mountain for 15 minutes before he could start his run. Semenuk crashed early on his run, overshooting and over-rotating a big 360 air.
After first runs, Kyle Strait led with 77.33. Tyler McCaul was second with 76.33 and Thomas Genon, the Belgian slopestyle rider, in 75.33.
Semenuk’s second run redemption
First run results meant Brandon Semenuk went straight back up to the top of the mountain and would be the first to drop in for the second round. If his crash in the first round rattled the Canadian at all, it didn’t show. The three-time runner looked textbook perfect. A historic combo of bar spins, flat drop tail whip, and flip-whip, all executed flawlessly were all crammed into a single run. Semenuk crossed the line and moved solidly into the lead with a score of 89.00.
The first run’s always so hard because you’re so nervous. As soon as I got up, I just wanted to get back up to the top and go again, just get it done,” Semenuk said in the finish corral. “It’s a big day, and it’s pretty windy out there. I’m happy with what I was able to put down.”
After clean runs by Jaxson Riddle and Cam Zink, Reed Boggs was up next. The American found redemption on his second run after years of struggle with Rampage, throwing down with a huge 360-drop and plenty of style. Boggs moves just ahead of Zink in the standings to sit second behind Brandon Semenuk.
Sorge goes all-in
Kurt Sorge followed soon after. The first three-time Rampage winner was sitting a little down the standings after his first run. The Nelson, B.C. rider stepped it up on his second run, adding variations and new tricks in on top of the numerous back flips from his opening round.
A visibly elated Sorge crossed the finish line after a clean, stylish run. A score of 88.33 puts the Sorge into second, right behind Semenuk.
“It’s so hard to gauge speed going into those big jumps, I couldn’t be more stoked,” Sorge said in the finish corral. “It’s hard with back-to-back injuries, and having some bad luck at the last few Rampages. I’m so happy go get a clean run”
Three more riders remain at the top of the mountain. Thomas Genon, riding a Canyon with a DH fork, but not the Sender, sat third after round one. His second run was full of smooth spins from the Belgian slopestyle rider were punctuated with a suicide no-hander and a back flip for a huge run, but not enough to challenge the podium.
McCaul had a clean run, improving his score for fifth. Not a win, but a big accomplishment for the rider that sat out for nearly 18-months with injury leading up to the event.
Only Kyle Strait remained at the top of the mountain. The Rampage icon stepped it up big, with big flips, but slipped a pedal on the final trick.
Semenuk’s single-crown Trek carries him to historic win
Brandon Semenuk wins, elevating the Canadian to rarefied ground as the first back-to-back winner, the first four-time winner of Red Bull Rampage and the 2021 Red Bull Rampage champion. All riding a unique, singlecrown Trek Session.
Kurt Sorge, the only other three-time Rampage winner, finishes second behind Semenuk making it a Canadian 1-2 podium. Reed Boggs earns his podium position in third. It’s Sorge’s first time back on the podium since his third win in 2017.
Brage Vestavik wins the Kelly McGarry spirit award. Jaxson Riddle won the best style award and, with his dig crew, the builder’s award.
Tom van Steenbergen wins the Best Trick Award again, this time for his massive front flip drop.
Full Results: 2021 Red Bull Rampage
1. Brandon Semenuk (CAN) – 89
2. Kurt Sorge (CAN) – 88.33
3. Reed Boggs (USA) – 87
4. Cam Zink (USA) – 86.33
5. Tyler McCaul (USA) – 78.33
6. Kyle Strait (USA) – 77.66
7. Thomas Genon (BEL) – 77
8. Ethan Nell (USA) – 73.33
9. Jaxson Riddle (USA) – 72.66
10. Szymon Godziek (POL) – 54.33
11. Vincent Tupin (FRA) – 0
11. Tom Van Steenbergen (CAN) – 0