It wasn't just Norbs that got robbed

Despite any and every controversy, Red Bull Rampage is still a unique event in the mountain bike and we’ll all be watching come Friday afternoon.

Here are our top seven controversies from the history of Red Bull Rampage…

Photographer Credit: John Gibson/Red Bull Content Pool

1. The return of Rampage

And what’s with all the wood? Rampage stopped in 2004 for a few years, apparently due to risk concerns. It returned in 2008 and everyone was very excited. But there were a handful of dissenting voices who felt that the abundance of wooden super-structures (advertising billboards anyone?) was too far removed from Rampage’s ‘natural lines’ original ethos.

To be honest, the new Rampage was actually fantastic to watch but the novelty didn’t last more than a couple of years and the handful of dissenters swelled in number and became noisier. So noisy in fact that Red Bull moved the event for 2016 to a new venue and removed the wood stuff.

Photographer Credit: John Gibson/Red Bull Content Pool

2. The 2012 judging

Any bike event that isn’t judged by a stopwatch will always engender controversy about the judging. And Rampage has had – and always will have – internet forums going wild about who got robbed this time. But 2012 was a bit of a nadir for Rampage judging. The McCaul brothers got robbed. So too did Kyle Norbraten. So much so that the judging panel has since morphed to be solely made up of previous Rampage competitors and some other suitably experienced people.

3. The NBC anchors

You know how annoying it is when the BBC give the Olympic mountain bike commentating job to an ex-triplejumper or horse person? Well, that has nothing on the jawdroppingly unknowledgable pair of anchors (on day release from NBC) who commentated on the 2014 Rampage.

4. McGarry’s not-winning 72ft canyon backflip

This run didn’t win the 2013 Rampage. Unbelievable. In every sense.

5. Cam Zink’s social media rant

You can read our story from 2015 about this. Suffice to say, Zink’s main beef was the whole risk versus reward debate that had been doing the rounds ever since Rampage got cancelled for a bit back in 2005. Zink and Red Bull seemingly never really got back on terms with each other 100% but Zink has since proclaimed he’s happier with how the the event is run now.

6. Rogatkin’s worrying mega-crash

Another bad moment from Rampage 2015. Watching Rogatkin ragdolling 30ft+ down a desert cliffside really harshed the buzz of anyone watching. Thankfully, Rogatkin not only survived the fall but actually got back on and completed the run!

>>> What happened to Nicholi Rogatkin’s brain during infamous Rampage crash?

If this had resulted in something more serious, who knows? We probably wouldn’t still have Rampage in its current form.

Photographer Credit: Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool

7. Slopestyle takeover

We’ve mentioned this already this week with out story about Cédric Gracia vlogging his concerns that Rampage is just becoming slopestyle in the desert and abandoning its freeride origins. There’s also a good deal of concern doing the round on the interweb about riders re-using their lines from last year’s event (albeit tweaked).

Friday October 27th 5:30pm (UK time)

We guess the proof will be in the pudding, sorry, in the riding. We can’t wait to see what controversies there’ll be this year!