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Crashes, Bangers, and Finals Prep at Red Bull Rampage 2012

Brandon Semenuk ate his Wheaties before coming to the final practice session. - Trumpore

On the day before finals, several riders advancing from qualifiers scrambled to build and ride lines on the upper portion of the mountain. Brett Rheeder's crew goes to work. - Trumpore

It's steeper, bigger, and all around gnarlier up top. James Doerfling makes it look easy though. - Trumpore

Kurt Sorge sends it. Burly? You bet. - Collins

Off the top, some riders will drop down along the ridge with cliffs on either side. Cam Zink makes it look less scary than it is. - Turman

Doerfling "skis" his way down one of the steeper portions of the hill while Claw describes the upper section. - Collins

Claw is his own biggest critic. Always has been. His line takes him literally straight down the mountain. - Trumpore

A team of builders works to widen one of the upper ridges, making it a little more feasible at speed. - Turman

Andreu keeps tabs on his competition as his brother Luis weighs in on the unwritten rider code. #dontpoach - Turman

Since Zink was pre-qualified after winning the last Rampage, he and 11 eleven others have been patiently waiting to show the world what they've got. - Collins

Things were looking good for Zink this morning. - Trumpore

Zink dropped from the top of the chute today, building more speed than his previous attempts over the canyon gap at the bottom. - Collins

Sometimes things are best shown from two angles. Have you ever rolled into something this steep? - Trumpore

Unfortunately things went awry when Zink hit the gap late in the day. He bottomed out on the lip, got pitched slightly forward, and overshot the landing on foot. - Beckton

The moment Zink stood up on his own power. His current status is still unknown. We hope to see him in the finals, but his ankles might not let him. - Collins

Brett Rheeder is one of the only riders tricking nearly every time he leaves the ground. Ace Hayden and I witnessed an insane barspin on the upper ridge, just next to the big cliffs. - Turman

Chances are good that Brett's hands won't be on the bars when he flies over this during finals. - Collins

Yep, it's still dusty. - Collins

Justin Frey fills us in on tweaks that Fox made to riders' suspension for the event. We're guessing this Ford Raptor would be a smoother ride than a pro's bike. They run 'em stiff! - Turman

Thomas Vanderham's first attempt at a massive step up to wallride he built just below the Oakley Sender. He nailed it later in the day. - Collins

Watch out for that cliff! Vanderham made an impressive save on this step up. - Collins

This one's for you, Sven. Wish you could have made it. Heal up. - Trumpore

Busted! - Turman

Every time Antoine Bizet drops in it looks like he's having a blast. We're pretty sure he put in more runs than anyone else today. Rumor has it that he bought his line off Robbie Bourdon, who might not compete in the finals due to a shoulder injury. - Turman

Semenuk's line is big all the way to the bottom. While other riders are coasting into their lines, he's sprinting to build more speed for more air. We think that'll be very favorable when the judges are scoring. - Collins

Shout out to the volunteers that help make the event go off without incident. Riders, remember to tip your bike carriers. Haha! - Turman

Chris Van Dine and Tyler McCaul tag team a ridge line for a GoPro edit. We hope to see the footage someday, because it looked unreal in person. - Collins

Kyle Strait lays it over well past flat while Rene Wildhaber gives the Rampage riders props. - Trumpore

After an initial diagnosis in the pits by a specialist, Brendan Fairclough may sit out finals. A possible torn MCL is to blame. You never know, though, he might just go for it. - Turman

Kurt Sorge does Mitch Ropelato proud by getting it sideways. - Trumpore

Ropelato turned down his chance to ride Rampage for fear of making a major mistake. Gee Atherton made one of those today while riding on an already injured ankle. - Beckton

Ouch. - Collins

NBC wins the award for the biggest cameras this time. The <u><b><a href="http://www.redbullusa.com/cs/Satellite/en_US/Rampage-2012/001243254072497" target="_blank">live stream</a></b></u> is on October 7th at 1pm MT, and the television broadcast will follow on December 8th. - Collins

What's it like dropping into Rampage? Nico Vink fills us in as Strait gazes down his line. - Collins

It's both gorgeous and terrifying out here. - Trumpore

Semenuk's line has had more man hours put into it than any other, and the boys were still going at it well into the dark. We'll see if it all pays off tomorrow as he makes his way down the hill one last time. - Turman

With qualifiers settled, riders took to the upper mountain, crafting their lines and finalizing plans for the big day. Many stepped up their game, hitting big lines for the first time. Some were more successful than others, but all walked away on their own two feet. - Photos by Brandon Turman, Dave Trumpore, Ian Collins, and Seth Beckton

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