12 girls. 8 days. Endless opportunities.
If you haven’t heard of Redbull Formation, you need to. Set amongst some of the most rugged landscape in the world, this female progression event is like nothing you’ve seen before.
Back for its third year from the 8th-15th May 2022, Redbull Formation brings together 12 of the world’s top female Freeriders. Combined with some of the best diggers and industry mentors, the result is one of the most exciting mountain biking events in the world.
The aim of the week is for each athlete to create an epic trail from top-to-bottom of the giant Utah cliffs. Once the course is built, it needs ridden; demonstrating the riders skills, abilities, and styles. Riding styles are of course unique to each athlete, and there are a wide variety of backgrounds between the riders.
“The twelve athletes were hand-picked by a selection committee made up of four professional female athletes, members of the media and industry veterans. Invites were based on several factors such as experience, big bike handling skills and control, air awareness, overall style, mental strength, and potential in the sport.” — Red Bull Formation
The aim might be to dig the best line down the mountainside, but the overarching goals reach much wider. Co-founder Katie Holden says she thinks of Formation like an incubator. Designed to bring together established and new talent – riders, diggers, media, and athletes from other action sports. By digging, living, and riding together for 8 days, it’s an epic opportunity to create not only lasting friendships but also develop the group in the wider areas of life and business.
Often, it is easy to see a mountain biker (or wider athlete) as just an ‘athlete’ – they go into competition, race, finish and return home. Actually, it’s so much more than that. Yes, it’s physical (even that amounts to more than just their chosen sport, with off-bike training, gym work, rehab and recovery) but it also takes mental and professional skills. Dealing with media, sponsorship, business skills and wider community projects isn’t something that’s inherently known by each athlete. This all takes time to learn or develop and more often than not, it’s done off the bike.
Katie Holden has said that the women’s freeride field is about 20 years behind the men’s regarding representation and opportunities. The creation and expansion of Redbull Formation and other recent female Freeride events are going a long way to start balancing this. The opportunity to bring together riders, diggers, media, and mentors provides a great opportunity to learn from, and challenge each other, to progress female Freeriding as a whole.
Carving a line down the Utah cliffs in itself is epic. However, it’s much more than that. Each athlete is finding their path, their line, their place – both in the Utah desert but also in their mountain biking career.
This might not always be straightforward. If you watch the riders descend through the mountains, their paths are full of rocks, drops, twists and turns. The most important thing is to have a point to aim for; it might be at the finish of the path, it might be along the way. With events like Red Bull Formation however, and the strong mentorship and support provided, the progression and development of female Freeriding has an exciting future, creating space for many more existing and new athletes.
We’re stoked that two of our Mons athletes, Casey Brown and Robin Goomes, have been invited to ride Redbull Formation this year. Both were on site at Redbull 2021 – Casey as a rider and Robin as a digger – and we can’t wait to see what 2022 Formation looks like for them!