Cedric Gracia is a wildman. A dude who has made a massive impact on racing but also on the early freeride scene. Turn back time to 2003/2004. Rampage was an event based around making your way down the mountain, a far cry from todays slopestyle event down a mountain! Cedric alongside more than a few other WC DH’ers took on the red cliffs against the new generation of freeriders, all focussed on smooth lines. Cedric however stepped it up a notch, being the first to gap a canyon to minuscule landing and flip in the red dirt. At a time when he was 2nd in the UCI DH rankings!
That flip was a big thing. It was also part of the reason [R]evolution exists today. Cedric’s first run was dialled and thanks to hanging with him in the days leading up to the event, he let me know that if he stomped a good first run, he’d throw a flip off a feature we’d checked out, that was far off the line he was expected to take. It was a risk to go camp out far from the majority of the action, but Cedric ain’t a dude to backdown from a promise and he flipped it so casually it ain’t funny. He took the win (from the first run funnily enough), I got the sequence shot and eventually the dollars from it which helped pay the first print bill for [R]evo.
For the photobros out there, it was shot on a Canon 1V, Canon 15mm fisheye and Canon Speedlight 550EX’s (one mounted, one triggered by Pocket Wizard) with Fuji Provia 100 film (yep, that stuff), pushed a stop, scanned on an Imacon Flextight Precision scanner and comp’d in Photoshop, the layered file upwards of 500MB which in those days was ridiculous.
Now here’s the thing that’s been missed, the flip Cedric talks about and that is shown in the vid above is lower down the course and was the ‘second’ ever backflip at Rampage, the first being the photo you see above. Check the best of edit below that shows it happen too!
Cedric, we salute you!
Words: Matt Holmes