Wild weather and high winds resulted in dangerous riding conditions that meant the 2023 Red Bull Hardline competition was canceled at the 11th hour. With 40mph gusts predicted for the qualifying rounds, the Hardline team made the tough call to cancel Saturday's racing the day before, but still hoped to run Sunday's finals in some shape or form.
An announcement the next day reaffirmed that the finals were still planned for Sunday, but that spectators could not attend and live TV coverage would not take place. However, the news that no-one wanted came on the Sunday morning – the Hardline team had no choice but to pull the plug completely on this year's competition due to seriously unsafe riding conditions.
An official statement released at 9:29 on 16th July read:
‘Having monitored course conditions in collaboration with the riders to provide the best possible chance of putting on a safe event, due to the extreme weather conditions in the Dyfi valley the decision has been made to cancel Red Bull Hardline to ensure the safety of the riders.’
Will Red Bull Hardline return later in 2023?
We've contacted the Hardline team to see whether the event could possibly take place later in 2023. While we've had no word back as yet and obviously it would depend on rider racing commitments, a video post from Gee Atherton on Instagram yesterday ended with the words, "We will be back next year, bigger and better than ever". So unfortunately a late season re-run would seem unlikely.
As and when we get confirmation either way, we will of course update this article.
This year was set to be the ninth edition of what most consider to be the most progressive and technically demanding downhill mountain bike race of the year. Set within Wales’ Dyfi Valley, the course is designed and built by Dan Atherton to test riders to their limit.
In 2022, the title went to the Santa Cruz Syndicate teenage rider Jackson Goldstone. Although he isn't able to defend his crown this year due to an operation to remove his appendix earlier this week, the youngest Red Bull Hardline winner to date spoke about the event in build up to this year's competition, "The course at Red Bull Hardline is like no other. To take the win last year with such stiff competition was an epic feeling".
Names that jump out on the stellar list of competitors still due to ride this year are last year’s second-place Joe Smith and third-placed Taylor Vernon. After strong World Cup performances, three times winner Bernard Kerr, whose race run ended in the rock slab section high on the course last year, will be returning with a vengeance, looking to add another title to his list. Other talented riders such as Josh 'Ratboy' Bryceland, Kade Edwards, and George Brannigan also catch the eye.
Camilo Sanchez will make his debut at Red Bull Hardline, the former Colombian national champion and regular on the urban downhill scene, will now hopefully get to showcase his talent on the world’s toughest downhill course for the very first time.