This was the first year of the newly founded Natural Selection and Proving Ground partnership. Based on world renowned snowboarder Travis Rice’s winter rider vs. rider knockout competition format, the Natural Selection Tour aims to combine MTB freestyle competition with Emmy-nominated racing drone POV-angle live footage coverage.
“Not unlike Natural Selection on snow, these athletes are empowered to choose their own line through a massive dirtpark covered with naturally enhanced drops, massive doubles, berm presses and rhythm sections.” - Natural Selection Tour
This year’s course, built by Black Sage Dirt Works, was a re-build of the 2021 Proving Grounds track and included some insane features! Although heavy winds made it difficult to practice, all of the athletes came out to throw down and we got to see some incredible freestyle riding on Saturday. Ride Concepts athletes Carson Storch, Kyle Strait, Talus Turk, Ryan McNulty, and Brooke Anderson were all in attendance.
Due to his impeccable style, Carson Storch is certainly a staple rider at Proving Grounds and this year was no different. Carson ended up snagging 5th overall at the first ever summer mountain biking Natural Selection Tour event.
Similarly, Kyle Strait needs no introduction. Known for his Rampage legacy and overall powerful riding style, Kyle brought the heat and laid down some big moves this year.
Relatively new to the scene but consistently making a big splash, Talus Turk was all style and flair on Saturday. Talus laid down a very impressive qualifying run that got him into the finals. Nice work Talus!
Another newcomer, Ryan McNulty would have won the “most stoke” award if available. From huge tuck no-handers to giant tailwhips, Ryan pulled out all the stops.
If you follow mountain biking at all you’ve been hearing this name a lot recently. From podiuming at Crankworx Whistler to staring in Teton Gravity Research’s summer MTB film Esperatno, Brooke Anderson has been on fire. Unfortunately, Brooke went down during practice and was unable to compete the next day. Get better soon, Brooke!
Big congratulations and high fives to all of the Ride Concepts athletes! We’re stoked to see what the Natural Selection Tour cooks up for next year.