UK mountain bike legend Gee Atherton will make his triumphant return to professional racing by lining up at this year's Redbull Hardline.
When Red Bull announced the rider list for this year's race we weren't that surprised to see Gee's name absent from the list. A year previous Gee had one of the most horrific crashes we have ever seen while filming for his ‘The Knife Edge’ video edit.
There has been a lot of speculation about whether Gee would ever make it back to racing, the true severity of the crash is hard to comprehend. Yet the Gee has managed to overcome the long list of physical and mental injuries that were caused by the accident.
Looking ahead to Red Bull Hardline 2022, Gee said: “Obviously after a massive crash you never think you’re going to race again, or even ride again, but as I started to recover a bit Red Bull Hardline began to look quite appealing.”
He went on to say, “While I was injured I spent a lot of my time thinking about Red Bull Hardline and the goal of being able to ride again at that level was a massive driver. Through all those long hours in the gym it was a massive motivation for me.”
“Now I’ve had time to rehab, choosing the hardest race in the world to come back to maybe isn’t the best idea, but I’ve been training hard and I feel like I’m riding well – I’m not going to jump on the bike and aim for a podium, the goal is to ride Red Bull Hardline and to have fun doing it!
While most riders usually ease themselves back into racing after a big injury or a long period off the bike, Gee is diving straight in. Red Bull Hardline is arguably one of the most technically demanding and extreme races, and the Hardline course is packed with massive jumps, exposure, and extremely steep technical sections.
We couldn't think of a more momentous occasion for Gee to make his grand return to professional racing as Red Bull Hardline no doubt means a lot for Gee. Not only is he a previous winner, another accolade in his long palmares which includes Downhill World Champion and World Cup winner, but it’s an event that he no doubt has a close affinity with. His brother Dan Atherton created and runs the event which is held at the Atherton’s own Dyfi Bike Park in Wales.
With the return of the trackside spectators after a three-year hiatus, the atmosphere is going to be electric as people watch Gee drop in to ride Hardline. If you weren’t able to get a ticket, Red Bull have you covered with live footage as well as behind-the-scenes episodes on Red Bull TV.