The past season has been a real milestone in the story of Atherton Racing. It all started with a bang on the 25th on January 2019, when they announced that they will be launching their own bicycle brand. Atherton Bikes were to use additive manufacturing technologies and carbon tubing to create a unique frame design that would allow the race team to test and perfect throughout the season. Combine the ground breaking manufacturing technique with the partnership of suspension guru Dave Weagle, and you can see why it got the members of Pinkbike excited!
The Atherton Bikes Prototype Trail Bike - Wideopenmag
2019 also marked the 2nd year of our partnership with the Atherton Racing crew. Throughout their final year with Trek, we provided the team with saddles for both their trail and DH race bikes, and they loved them. What better way to celebrate the launch of their new bikes and our renewed partnership than with our custom saddle programme! Here's the result..
The Atherton Racing team don't all share the same surname however. A huge part of their focus over recent years has been the development of younger riders and sharing with them a wealth of experience gained from almost two decades of bike racing. For 2019 the full team roster included Charlie Hatton and Mille Johnset along side World Cup regulars Gee and Rachel Atherton.
Mille, the team's youngest rider, has enjoyed a successful final year in the junior women's category. With one win and five podiums in the overall series, and a silver medal at World Champs, it's definitely been a confidence boosting year before making the step up to Elite women.
Charlie has had a pretty consistent season. With a number of top 30 finishes in the Elite male class. A storming run in Val di Sole saw him slot into a season's best of 11th, and then a strong ride at the Red Bull Hardline event landed him with 7th. At only 21 years of age, you can be sure there's plenty more to come...
Gee has had a season of ups and downs this year. With a handful of top 20 results on the World Cup series, he has shown that the speed is there when everything falls into place. Everything did fall into place at Red Bull Hardline. A close fought battle between Gee and Bernard Kerr was the big story of the weekend, each rider aiming for the top step and the title of first rider to win the event twice. In the end Gee was just pipped by Kerr, and the P2 slot went Gee's way.
Finally we have Rachel. With 6 senior world titles to her name, and starting the season with the rainbow jersey, you'd have bet Rachel would be the first to take the new prototype DH rig to a World Cup victory. After a flying start in Maribor where she managed a 2nd place, it was all eyes on the home race in Fort William. A close battle with Tracy Hannah made for some exciting racing, but in the end the youngest Atherton sibling set the fastest time of the day and the first top level win for Atherton Bikes. A couple more great results followed that first one in Scotland, but a freak accident in Les Gets resulted in a snapped Achilles tendon. An injury which put Rachel out for the rest of the race season. We wish Rachel all the best for her recovery, and a super strong 2020!
You may ask, what about Dan? The older of the Atherton trio. A few years ago Dan took a step back from the racing and put his blood sweat and tears into something a little different. An uplifted bike park situated in mid Wales. To find out more about this, click here! We are so excited to check this place out and tell you about it, so look out for a future blog post soon...
Results and Stats - Roots & Rain
Images - Sven Martin Photos