One of the big talking points on the run-up to this year's Red Bull Rampage is the return of the legend that is Gee Atherton. After ten years away from the gnarliest mountain biking event in the world, Gee received a wildcard entry when the 2023 Red Bull Rampage roster was announced a few weeks back. Gee has taken two second places in previous editions, just missing out on the win in 2004 and 2010, and is back for his sixth appearance at the world's most insane and best mountain bike event.
Gee and his build team have been out in the Utah desert creating his line for the event, and with Gee being Gee, he had to create what riders are saying could be the biggest drop ever at Red Bull Rampage. Measured by Matt Jones on his YouTube Rampage build-up video at 20 meters, the drop has a rounded take-off to make it even more difficult, plus next to no outward take-off distance.
On Wednesday during a practice run, Gee took a massive crash on the huge drop, with Gee being quickly attended to by medical personnel, before being airlifted from the site. Thankfully he was conscious throughout and is now in hospital care. Commenting on his own Instagram later, "It was a heavy day at Red Bull Rampage, testing out the new drop for my Rampage run, and a combo of going slightly deep, and a gust of wind meant I couldn't ride out the landing."
Adding, "Injuries are not to bad, some skull fractures and also fractures to some vertebrae, will mean I'll need to chill for a few weeks. What hurts the most is missing the event, after the dig crew and myself put in such an effort."
When it comes from the man who has practically broken every bone in his body, skull fractures may be second nature to Gee, but clearly he's taken a major crash, and it seems Gee was lucky to have escaped with the injuries sustained. We wish him a speedy recovery, and hopefully he's back for Red Bull Hardline, and maybe another go at Red Bull Rampage next year.
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