Vernon's Tom van Steenbergen taken to hospital after serious crash at Utah's Red Bull Rampage

Local injured at Rampage

UPDATE: 3:15 p.m.

Vernon's hometown hero Tom van Steenbergen landed the best trick of the Red Bull Rampage biking competition in Utah Friday, but just seconds later, he crashed and was taken to hospital.

While 15 of the world's best freeride bikers qualified for the notoriously unforgiving competition, 12 bikers made it to competition day Friday, with the other three dropping out due to injury.

Van Steenbergen was looking to best his third-place finish in 2019, but he suffered a serious crash on his first run.

Just prior to the crash, van Steenbergen landed a front flip off a massive drop – a trick that would ultimately earn him the event's best trick award. But while the announcers were still going wild over van Steenbergen's front flip, he attempted a back flip off the very next jump, landed awkwardly, and went over his handlebars.

Medical staff attended to him, while the competition was put on hold for about 20 minutes. Little information about van Steenbergen's condition has been disclosed at this time, but the announcers said he'd been taken to a local hospital.

Whistler's Brandon Semenuk took the top spot Friday, becoming the first rider to win back-to-back Rampage events and the first to win four separate years.

Three-time Rampage winner Kurt Sorge, hailing from Nelson, took second place.

Vernon's Brett Rheeder, winner of the 2018 Rampage event, was unable to participate this year, due to a knee injury he suffered in September.

ORIGINAL: 4 a.m.

Some of the best freeride mountain bikers are in Utah this week, competing in one of the top biking competitions in the world. And Vernon's own Tom van Steenbergen is one of the 15 competitors, looking to top his 2019 podium finish.

Red Bull Rampage is celebrating 20 years this week, after the annual event was cancelled due to the pandemic last year.

But, this week, the top riders have once again gathered in Virgin, Utah, where they've spent days building their own trails in the unforgiving desert, before taking their two competition runs today.

Judge's score the runs based on style, tricks, difficulty of lines, and the size of the jumps and drops chosen.

Vernon's van Steenbergen snagged third-place during the last Rampage event in 2019, when fellow B.C. riders Brandon Semenuk (first) and Brett Rheeder (second) also took the podium.

Van Steenbergen captured fourth the year prior, but grabbed the best trick award that year with a flat-drop backflip.

“Line is done, now it’s time to ride it all! Let’s hope for good weather from now on,” van Steenbergen posted to Instagram Wednesday.

Van Steenbergen has hosted an annual bike competition at Big White since 2018.

Rheeder, who was born in Ontario but now also calls Vernon home, had to pull out of the competition this year, after suffering a knee injury during training last month. Rheeder took the top spot in the competition in 2018.

Whistler's Semenuk, who grabbed first place at Rampage in 2008, 2016 and 2019, is back this year, along with Nelson's Kurt Sorge, who won the event in 2012, 2015 and 2017. This year's competitors come from as far as Belgium, France, Spain, Poland, Norway and across the United States.

Coverage of this year's event kicks off on RedBull TV at 10 a.m. today.

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