WHAT DOES THIS EVENT AND THE TERRAIN YOU RIDE MEAN FOR YOU PERSONALLY?
Vaea Verbeeck: Riding Rampage style lines in Virgin Utah is just another big accomplishment of mine. I love learning and pushing my riding and this is just one other big highlight for my riding career.
MANY OF YOU HAVE IMPRESSIVE RESUMES FROM MORE “TRADITIONAL” AND ESTABLISHED COMPETITIVE EVENTS, WHETHER SCORED OR TIMED. WHERE DOES THE OVERALL FEELING OF PRIDE AND ACCOMPLISHMENT COMING OUT OF RED BULL FORMATION FALL IN YOUR PERSONAL HIGHLIGHT REEL OF MTB LIFE?
VV: Being a part of Formation and pushing this style of riding is on a complete different spectrum from the rest of my resume. It is a testament of a completely different riding ability of mine. I would say that it takes the cherry on top of my highlight reel, simply because it not only pushed me and my riding, but it also served as a marker in the history of our sport which is so special to me.
WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE RED BULL FORMATION GO IN THE FUTURE?
VV: I would love to see Formation remain an anchor for women in MTB to gather and grow together in this non-competitive environment. I think that we are so fortunate to have this format in our hands and it can only encourage new events and more women categories to come to life and allow us to compete just like the men.
WHAT WERE YOUR IMPRESSIONS THE FIRST TIME YOU ROLLED UP TO THESE RED UTAH HILLS?
VV: There was so much unknown the very first time we can to Utah in 2019’s Formation. We had spent a day riding the OG “bike park” site and then sent to a more recent Rampage site to create a top to bottom line. Have so little experience playing in that dirt made it seem all so intimidating. 2021 was on another level! Rather than holding back because of the terrain, we were able to go for it and use it to maximize our learning experience and go big.
WERE THERE ANY UNEXPECTED FEARS, THOUGHTS OR OTHER THINGS YOU HADN’T CONSIDERED UNTIL YOU PUT THE TIRES TO DIRT?
VV: I think that we each can process fear and knowledge for the riding challenges ahead of us, but when it comes to watching a peer sending something big, it is scary. You do not know how prepared everyone else feels in that moment and you can only hope that they make it down safely. I am so so grateful that everyone walked away achieved and safe!