Discover how a forward-thinking group of female riders helped create their own event Red Bull Formation, a freeride competition combining steep lines, multiple drops, and gap jumps in a new documentary that tracks their journey.
Taking the Leap shines a light on how some of the world's best women MTB freeriders are taking the sport to new levels on two wheels in Utah. Here is all you need to know:
- Red Bull Formation's roots go back to 2017 and American extreme sporting legend Rebecca Rusch, who saw a sizeable female void in the ultimate MTB test of freeriding and was eager to get more women involved.
- The ultra-endurance professional revealed, "I felt like I had to be the one to push. I was not a freeride athlete, so it wasn't like I was out for myself. I had no skin in the game; it was just the right thing to do."
- Acclaimed downhill rider Katie Holden - the 2012 US MTB Grand Prix Champion - soon entered the conversation, and she began sketching the outlines of a women's freeride camp, which ultimately became Formation.
- The six riders invited to the inaugural Formation in 2019 at the remote Virgin, Utah bike outpost came from diverse corners of the MTB world, but most shared a background in World Cup downhill racing, such as Briton Tahnée Seagrave and 2019 Crankworx champion Vaea Verbeeck.
After learning more about traction and braking points, they gradually began to uncover the desert's secrets with their resulting digs creating various lines ranging from long, steep tracks with multiple drops and gap jumps to fast chutes down the narrow spine of a ridgeline.
- With round-table discussions capping off the initial 2019 experience, two years later, eight of the top riders travelled to southern Utah from May 24 to June 1 to test their mettle in the unique freeride progression session, which propelled the booming sport forward even more.
- A Red Bull TV documentary team charted the thrilling week to produce a 26-minute film reliving all the anticipation, intensity, and non-stop action from Hannah Bergemann, Camila Nogueira, Casey Brown, Chelsea Kimball, Jess Blewitt, Sam Soriano, Vinny Armstrong and Verbeeck.
- The athletes scouted the mountain, sculpted their lines over three dig days, rested up for a day to share their stories with industry mentors and find a sense of community in each other. They then rode breathtaking top-to-bottom runs for three more days at one of the wildest, most iconic venues.
- Each day, the athletes chipped the red desert sand away to shape dramatic lines, hoping to bring it all together on their downhill MTB bikes weighing around 35lb in a top-to-bottom run on the final day.
- Holden enthused: "If you follow any of the riders and hashtags on social media, you probably got a solid peek into all things Formation, but there is a lot more to the story. 2021 saw the most spectacular women's freeride mountain biking that we've seen to date, and we're excited to show the process from start to finish in this full-length documentary."
- Oregon native Bergemann, 25 - who received the Evolution in Action Award as she best represented the values and spirit of Red Bull Formation - added: "Formation is such an incredible event that really kickstarted a movement in women's freeride. I'm excited for everyone to witness the behind-the-scenes hard work and progression from the event."
Watch the Red Bull TV documentary HERE.