Invited athletes begin their annual Rampage pilgrimage in early October, accompanied by a team of diggers who proceed to carve the landscape outside of Virgin, Utah into a big mountain playground of jumps, drops and insane lines down knife-edge ridges that test the best on the planet. Speed, style and creativity are all taken into account by the judges to crown the king of MTB vert.
Competing at the world’s biggest Mountain Bike freestyle event, the Reno native went huge on his first run, scoring a 90.33. In true Zink fashion, he stomped the largest flat drop backflip in Rampage history. The Evil Knievel gene is strong in Cam, pulling off the move on a feature that took him out last year in an attempted 360. He followed the monster trick up almost instantly with a second flat drop backflip. Linking everything together was a goat path of a line, featuring the steepest upper section ever seen in big mountain competition at over 63 degrees in the upper gulley. It wound it’s way down 1000 feet of vert, littered with gaps and jumps and culminating in a massive trick jump within view of the finish corral that the American chose to 360.
“That was the ride of my life,” said Zink. We try to elevate ourselves every year, and every year I’m a better bike rider. Usually when you do a big line and you don’t crash it seems easy afterward, but that ride is still terrifying and scary. To be able to drop in on the gnarliest big mountain line we’ve ever seen out here, and then do the biggest flat flip ever is amazing. Luckily we have to dig all week and not just sit and dwell on it because it’s so nerve wracking. The more kids I have, the more vested interest I have in family, and the more it means to make it down safe.”
A best of two events, Zink made his way back to the top for run two, dropping second to last after the re-ordering based off of first run scores. His second run was filled with even more style than the first all the way to the trick jump, when he went for broke and went for the front flip, needing to bump up his score to move back into first place. Unfortunately he came up short and went down putting an end to his dreams of gold.
“It was an emotional day,” said Zink. The first run I was relieved to be down alive after nine days of digging the gnarliest line of my life, and actually landing it! Second run the gloves were off and I wanted the win... bad. It was normal contest mode and the competitive spirit kicked in just trying to win. Judged events are tough, but I gave it everything I had.”