After two years away from Red Bull Rampage, Kurt Sorge returned to mountain biking’s gnarliest arena in record-breaking fashion, posting the highest ever score to win the contest for a second time.
The Canadian’s epic run landed him a 96.50, which was enough to beat defending champion Andreu Lacondeguy and Graham Agassiz. Along with Kyle Strait, Sorge is now the only other man to win Rampage twice.
Sorge first took the title back in 2012 but injuries prevented him from defending his title and he also missed last season’s contest at the new venue.
And, with every rider in the top five recording scores in the 90s, Sorge needed to make a historic comeback to reclaim his place at the top.
“All the boys had such gnarly lines and it showed, the scores were so tight,” he said. “Being at the start gate after not being there for two years was really tough. I didn’t want to miss it but I had two big injuries at bad times
“Everyone nailed their run and I’m just stoked to make it down and ride with those guys and be a part of it this year.
“I can’t believe it. Being on the podium with Andreu and Agassiz is a dream, those guys are my favorite riders and best friends.
“It’s a dream come true, I couldn’t be more happy. I’m looking forward to getting back on my bike and working hard.”
Agassiz was the man to beat after he topped qualifying at for the third year. Last year he crashed out during practice for the finals but made no mistake in 2015 with a huge run which earned him 94.75.
After Sorge stomped his first attempt and knocked his countryman off the hotseat, Lacondeguy dropped in but narrowly missed out on becoming the first man to defend the title with a score of 95.75.
Brandon Semenuk also laid down an unbelievable run, which won the People’s Choice award, but could only manage fourth place, while Tomas Genon sealed overall victory in the FMB World Tour Diamond Series with his fifth place finish.
There were also impressive rookie performances by Remy Metailler, who came tenth, and Britain’s Sam Reynolds who went one place better and took home Best Trick for his Superman over the Canyon Gap.
Unfortunately but inevitably the tenth edition of Rampage also saw some of the most terrifying crashes. Nicholi Rogatkin stole the show in qualifying after getting up and riding to the bottom after a brutal crash over a 30ft cliff, while Antoine Bizet looked on course for a history-making run before missing a double-backflip attempt and breaking his arm.
The thoughts of everyone in the world of mountain biking are also with Paul Basagoitia after he went down hard while trying to ride out one of the biggest step downs in the event’s history and had to undergo major surgery.
Not much information about his condition has been released but the community is praying he can follow in Sorge’s footsteps and come back stronger than ever.