Mountain: Session 88 and Semenuk Rule Red Bull Rampage

2008/10/07

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Story Highlights

  • Session 88 DH
  • Session 88 FR

 

Riding aboard an all-new 2009 Session 88, Trek-sponsored rider Brandon Semenuk took home top honors at this year’s Red Bull Rampage—the world’s premier freeride mountain bike competition.
 
Held just outside Virgin, Utah, near Zion National Park, the Red Bull Rampage is known for big drops, huge air and sick stunts, as riders navigate their descent from a designated starting area to a finish line more than 1,000 vertical feet below. Riders must choose their own line through the challenging terrain, mixing tricks with thirty-plus foot gaps and cliff drops on their way down. Competitors are judged on style, amplitude, fluidity, and difficulty of line. Playing it conservative is not a winning strategy at the Red Bull Rampage.
 
On what Dirt Magazine calls the “best production bike of the year,” Semenuk started his winning run aboard his Session 88 with a no-foot can can off a double, followed by a big no-hander off a substantial step-down. On the last feature of his line, Semenuk stomped an unbelievably clean 360. Dialed to near perfection, Sememuk’s performance could be recorded as the smoothest and sickest Rampage-winning run ever.
 
“It’s pretty surreal,” said Semenuk, just minutes after being declared the overall winner. “I qualified second, which would normally mean I go second to last. But there were three starting locations, and I was in the first start group. After my run, I just waited to see what others would do.”
 
Andrew Shandro, former Rampage competitor turned judge and Trek Session 88 development rider, noted “his line was just so clean. The fact that he could link all of it up was absolutely sick. This kid is on fire. “
 

Semenuk’s first success of the season came aboard his special edition slopestyle Trek Remedy, outfitted with modified rear travel and Semenuk-specific geometry. He used the Remedy to win Crankworx Colorado Slopestyle contest in August.

Brandon’s Session 88 is a stock Session 88 frame (size medium), equipped with Bontrager Big Earl wheels and tires, RockShox suspension, and an MRP chainguide. Session 88 bikes are available in both downhill (DH) and freeride (FR) versions through Trek’s network of independent bicycle dealers.