Red Bull Rampage has been the pinnacle event for Thomas Genon aka Tommy G for over 10 years now. From year to year, he prepares himself better and better. The main goal for Tommy is to be happy with the way he rides the line he built with his mates. This year, he can be happy that he even participated again in the contest and eventually finished in the top 10. He only found out that he rode Rampage with a broken wrist after seeing a doctor at home a couple of days after the event. Despite the pain, he finished 9th in the world’s gnarliest freeride event. The full story will be told in Tenacity – a film by Jules Langeard – that traces the adventure of the Belgian rider’s tenth consecutive participation. The video is an emotional documentary in 5 thematic acts. Thomas’ injury and experience run through the narrative.
Tenacity – the film could have been called “broken”, so much so that Tommy G’s broken wrist forms the backdrop to the story and is the key point of the Belgian rider’s tenth participation at Red Bull Rampage. Jules Langeard, behind the camera and a long-time friend of Thomas Genon, delivers a stirring documentary. Like a theatre piece, the film is divided into 5 themed acts – Be Humble, The Strategy, The Pain, The Discipline and The Relief. The initial idea was to show Thomas’ experience and preparation, while at the same time revealing a solid quartet of friends, with shapers and pro riders Louis Reboul and Paul Couderc alongside Tommy and Jules. Obviously, the crash on the very first day, just before the digging days, turned everything upside down.
“One of the main focuses from the start was Thomas’ experience. Everything was planned. And just like in an ancient play, you have the disruptive element – the injury. But he decided to take part and therefore refused to find out the truth about his injury,” comments Jules Langeard.
Tenacity’s scenes reveal all the long preparations leading up to the big day. From equipment preparation to training sessions in Lyon, including the choice of bike (a Canyon Torque AL 27.5, with a single crown fork) and the delivery of the equipment. Tommy G had been thinking about this Red Bull Rampage for a year, the line being the same as in 2022. He knew where and what to modify, and which tricks to improve. Onsite, Tenacity is a good description of the Belgian rider’s mental strength. Especially in act 3, where Loneliness is revealed. One morning, Tommy is getting treated by the physio while leaving his shapers alone on his line with picks and spades.
“I wasn’t able to take the lead over the team during the four days devoted to digging. For my part, I didn’t want to do a scan. If I’d known, I wouldn’t have taken part. The physio helped me enormously, mentally too. On the first day of practice, I was still worried. In the end, everything went as well as possible and I did my two runs in the final on Friday”, recalls Thomas Genon.
The Belgian rider finished ninth in the Red Bull Rampage 2023. His eighth top 10 finish at freeriding’s most prestigious event. His tenacity will surprise us again in 2024.
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