Video: Samantha Soriano is Definitely Ready to Send It in Episode 3 of ‘Road to Formation’

by | May 26, 2021

Red Bull Formation 2021 is underway—the women’s freeride event is taking place this week (May 24 to June 1) on the 2015 Red Bull Rampage course.

It’s now or never: See Samantha Soriano put all the pieces of the freeride puzzle together—gnar lines and technical tricks over burly terrain—in episode #3 (of 3) of the Road to Formation series (above).

Keep reading to check in with the Formation Freshman and learn what’s happening in Virgin, Utah, after the first two official dig days…

On winning the 2018 U.S. National Championship at 18 years old—and now at 20, pursuing freeride:

Samantha Soriano:

As I moved up in the Elite category, racing felt like a job. I felt as if I wasn’t doing it for the right reasons because there was something that never satisfied me with racing. In 2019, I rode with Veronique Sandler at Crankworx, and after a thorough night of Instagram stalking, I saw that a woman was able to make a career out of freeride, which sparked the flame. With all the races being canceled from COVID this past year, I thought what better time to try the freeride life and see how it goes… and here we are. Simply put, all I really want to do is ride my bike.

bigquotes I want to learn new tricks and hit bigger features, and freeride has allowed me to showcase this creativity and passion for biking.Samantha Soriano

On her line selection, digging and course build at Red Bull Formation 2021:

Hannah [Bergemann], Casey [Brown] and I are going in on a line together. Currently, we’re about 75% complete after the first two days of digging. I brought Dillon Lemarr as my designated digger and he has a lot of experience in the desert—building at Rampage for Kyle Strait and DJ Brandt. [Dillon] has been a mentor in life, as well as riding, and has helped me with a lot of progression—he is a great asset to have on the mountain.

bigquotes I’m excited to work with Hannah and Casey—to learn how we can coordinate as a team, and still individually achieve our goals while putting together a line collectively.Samantha Soriano

On surprises so far at Red Bull Formation 2021:

I’m surprised at all the features all the women are building in to their lines—there are definitely going to be some big hits out there. I’m hoping everyone is able to put together a solid run.

bigquotes The level of progression within women’s freeride has definitely taken a big step.Samantha Soriano

SAMANTHA SORIANO@samanthasorian0

Frame: 2021 Canyon Sender 6, Small
Fork: Marzocchi Bomber 58
Shock: Marzocchi Bomber CR
Crank: Truvativ Descendant DH, 34T
Cassette: SRAM PG-720 DH 7-speed, 11-25T
Pedals: Crankbrothers Mallet
Wheels: Industry Nine, 27.5″ front/rear
Tires: Continental Der Baron 2.4″
Handlebar: Deity Speedway 35mm
Stem: Deity Intake DM
Grips: Sensus Lite

On the remaining digging needed to complete her line at Red Bull Formation 2021:

There are two dig days left—May 26 and 27 before the mandatory rest day on May 28. We have three main features still to “touch up” since most of the line is there [from 2015 Rampage]. But retouching can be almost harder than building from scratch because so many layers of sediment have built up and created decay—hopefully we can knock it all out on Wednesday (May 26), which will leave Thursday (May 27) to be a really solid “water day” to firm everything up and make it ready to ride.

bigquotes I’m learning as much as I can this week about how to dig a proper line in the desert.Samantha Soriano

On weather forecast for the three ride days (May 29-31—w/June 1 as an optional weather day) of the event:

The wind has been substantial all week and the forecast calls for more wind on the horizon.

bigquotes In the line Hannah, Casey and I have chosen, we do have a few options—if the wind is heavy, we’ll be able to choose a slightly different way down to accommodate for exposure.Samantha Soriano

On expectations at Red Bull Formation 2021:

We are able to ride the bottom portion of the mountain on the last dig day (May 27). In our line, there are really only two features on that portion of the mountain, but it would be good to get things started before the official ride days. Honestly, I hope to do a few complete runs before the end of the weekend—and hope I am able to ride to the best of my ability during each ride down the line.

bigquotes Once you drop in to our line from the top, there is no other way down other than doing a complete run—there are no ‘go arounds,’ so you have to hit everything.Samantha Soriano

Produced by: Taylor Sage
Photos by: Peter Jamison, Taylor Sage, Alexa Christensen
With support from: Canyon USA
Featuring: Samantha Soriano