After crashing in Switzerland last month, Brendan Fairclough could never have imaged it would cost him his slot at this year’s Rampage.
Two decades of Rampage will happen without one of its recent crowd favourites. A complicated crash recovery has left Brendan Fairclough unable to attend Rampage, as the event returns.
The most famous freeride mountain bike event will now be searching for an alternate rider to fill the void left by Brendan Fairclough.
Despite his best effort at preparation and recovery, the Scott rider and the best mountain bike flat pedals proponent and style master will forego appearing at this year’s Rampage.
A practice crash – with consequences
Very few World Cup downhill racers are willing to risk the reality of injury that ghosts Rampage participation. Fairclough has been one of the outliers, not only appearing at the event but also riding fearlessly.
During the last Rampage, held in 2019, this approach netted Fairclough a fourth-place finish – a notable achievement among the most esteemed freeride mountain bikers.
Ironically, it is a UCI Downhill World Cup injury that has prevented Fairclough from riding at Rampage. Less than a month ago, Fairclough was airlifted to hospital, after crashing during practice for the Lenzerheide Downhill World Cup, in Switzerland.
He suffered severe lacerations to his leg and spent four days in a Swiss hospital, after a surgical intervention featuring internal and external stitches.
Better luck next year
Throughout the last month, Fairclough was working furiously at recovery, with the target being Rampage. Unfortunately, his leg injury was reinfected and required emergency hospitalisation in Surrey.
Although this second surgical event has managed the infection, avoiding a potential skin graft, it undid the possibility of a Fairclough riding at Rampage this year. After his second four-day hospital stay in less than a month, Fairclough is now on the way to full recovery – again.
Despite the crushing disappointment of his crash and recovery experience, complicated by reinfection, Fairclough is committed to being a significant presence at Rampage next year.