Red Bull is a popular energy drink that has long been associated with extreme adventure sports. What started as a marketing strategy by the company, has now become its brand image. Red bull has become synonymous with adventure and adrenaline. The two A’s have led the brand to become a major sponsor in some famous and widely watched adventure sports such as mountain biking, Formula One, and cliff diving to name a few. What we want to focus on today is the Red bull’s relationship with mountain biking or also known as redbull MTB.
As the name suggests, Mountain biking involves off-road cycling on rough and mountain-like terrains. Mountain biking is a rewarding and enjoyable activity for riders. However, the adrenaline rush is no less for people that are spectating riders on their TV screens or watching them live. Mountain Biking has evolved significantly over the years, there are so many different events that it becomes a little overwhelming for someone who is starting new. Yet, the basic four basic formats of the sport remain the same.
- Part 1: Cross-Country
- Part 2: DownHill
- Part 3: Enduro
- Part 4: Free Ride
- Part 5: Pump Track
- Part 6: Free Ride Rampage
Part 1: Cross-Country
XC, which is the abbreviation of cross county, is a shorter format of the mountain bike race. It is usually based on a 6 to 8 kilometers circuit and features a varied terrain which makes it highly competitive. According to UCI and NOBRA rules, professional-level XC races cannot be longer than fifty kilometers. Riders can have technical assistance in designated zones but only an authorized mechanic. Riders on the same team can also help out each other. XC is all about endurance and effort. This also makes it the most popular mountain biking. Format. The most anticipated cross country event of the year is the UCI MTB cross country World Cup series which is also live-streaming on redbull tv mtb.
Part 2: DownHill
Downhill racing, evident from its name, features steep downhill terrains. For downhill races technique is the key to success. The faster you can descend, the greater your chances of winning the race. Downhill or DH races are usually fast-pace which means that riding speeds are higher when comparing to cross country racing. Riders have a specified time to cross each section of the trail, and the rider with the lowest time wins. If there is any format that is equally appreciated by viewers, it is DH. One can often spot the red bull mtb team at events like these. UCI Downhill World Cup Series is a premier race series where riders are put to a full test against their potential. This can also live-streaming on red bull mtb tv.
Part 3: Enduro
Enduro is the most unique and extensive mountain bike racing format. It not only features downhill terrain but also includes uphill tracks. This means that the riders need to make double the effort when compared to a DH race. While all downhills are timed, no time is for uphill. You can complete the uphill anywhere in the given time, it would not affect your race time. Therefore, enduro is based on timed stages. An enduro event lasts two-three days but week-long events also take place. On average, there are 3 to 5 timed downhill races on each day, and the rider with the lowest time in each stage wins the race. The premier race series in the enduro format is the Enduro World Series.
Part 4: Free Ride
A free ride race is not a race in its true sense but more like a competition. Riders get together and display their skills to other peers and the audience. The free-ride circuit consists of various obstacles, ramps, and cliffs that even allow riders to perform stunts in between. People evaluate riders on two criteria, the time taken to complete the circuit and the tricks performed. Everyone enjoys such races, irrespective of whether they ride a mountain bike or not. Who doesn’t appreciate some good stunts on a bike?
Redbull is to sponsor and promote all of the above-mentioned racing activities but there are several other event formats that fall under the domain of red bull mtb.
Part 5: Pump Track
It sounds a bit funny but have you ever thought of a race where the riders can not pedal? Yes, conducted by UCI and Redbull mtb division, the pump track is an event that is based on a loopy circuit and riders cannot pedal once they cross the start line. Instead of the pedals, the riders use their arms and legs to pump the bike to gain speed. This makes it a unique and highly competitive event. Pump track races are conducted under the premier event series title of RedBull UCI Pump Track World Championships and riders from all over the world participate in it.
Part 6: Free Ride Rampage
The freeride rampage is one of the many racing events introduced by Redbull. While it seems similar to any regular free ride event, it is totally different from it. The fact that it is conducted by red bull mtb means only means two things, more adventure, and more adrenaline. A regular free ride event might just contain a few ramps and cliffs but the Free Ride Rampage is conducted on some of the most rugged terrains such as the cliffs of Zion National Park, Utah. They evaluate riders by their ability to perform stunts such as flips and jumps on this tough terrain. There is no fixed route and each rider finds a unique path of their own. This makes the event highly unpredictable and you get to see stunts that would leave you bamboozled for days!
Overall, red bull has a strong relationship with mountain biking and all sorts of other adventure sports. As a company, they want to make these extreme sports more available to people so that they can try them and have an experience of a lifetime.