Red Bull has announced the 2022 Red Bull Hardline rider list and the stacked lineup could make this not only the best Hardline to date, but a historical moment for women's mountain biking.
Hardline is an experimental downhill race that pushes the boundaries of what is possible on a downhill bike. Hosted by the Atherton's and held at Dyfi Bike Park in Wales, the steep Welsh terrain features incredible technical trail features alongside huge drops and jumps.
Just to ride this event you need to be amongst the best mountain bike riders in the world and only a select number of athletes are invited to go against the clock on what could be the most demanding race of the year.
The riders invited are a diverse mix of downhillers and freeriders, all looking to play to their strengths on the unique course. Many of the riders have previously competed at the event, including four of the six previous winners, although there are some exciting new faces to Hardline which could really shake up the standings.
Most notably, Bernard Kerr will be riding to defend his current Hardline title and will no doubt be the favorite to win. Kerr has already taken the Hardline top spot three times and is showing great form on recently on the World Cup circuit.
The 2017 winner Craig Evans will be in attendance as well as Hardline's first-ever winner, Danny Hart. Both riders will be keen to repeat their past wins.
Dan Atherton will be flying the home flag for the Athertons as Gee is still recovering from his Knife Edge Ridge injury back in 2021. Despite being the creator and builder of Hardline, Dan has yet to win his own event, with a second in 2014 and a third in 2017, there is no doubt that he will be coming into this year's event fired up for gold.
Other notable returnees include Charlie Hatton, fellow Continental Atherton teammate and course builder Jim Munro, Hardline regular Joe Smith, the bulldog Brook MacDonald, and crowd favorite – Kaos Seagrave.
There are a couple of very important new faces at the event this year who will be looking to mix it up with the old hands. Jess Blewitt will make history as the first female athlete to race Hardline and break new ground for female mountain biking. The two-time New Zealand National downhill champion is hot off a tenth place finish at the World Champs last weekend, took part in last year's Red Bull Formation freeride event and will be eager to show everyone what she is capable of.
Another new rider is the teenage talent Jackson Goldstone. This skilled and incredibly stylish rider has proven he is one of the most well-rounded competitors around. There is going to be a lot of hype when he drops into the course, not only does he have what it takes to win, but if he does, at 18 years old he would be the youngest rider to do so.
See below for the full list of riders who will be attending the event, which starts at 1pm BST on Saturday 10th September. Both the qualifying and final runs will be broadcast live on Red Bull TV as well as a three-episode series documenting the days running up to the event.
Red Bull Hardline 2022 riders
- Phil Atwill / Propain Bicycles
- George Brannigan / NS BIKES UR / 5th 2016
- Adam Brayton / Hope Tech / 4th 2015, 3rd 2016, 5th 2017, 7th 2021
- Ronan Dunne / Continental Nukeproof Racing
- Kade Edwards / Trek Factory Racing / 10th 2018, 13th 2019, 3rd 2021
- Craig Evans / Santa Cruz - 6th 2015, 1st 2017, 15th 2021
- Dennis Luffman / FMD Racing
- Sam Gale / Specialized Bicycles / 10th 2021
- Jackson Goldstone / Santa Cruz Syndicate
- Jess Blewitt / GT Factory Racing
- Thibault Laly / Pinkbike Racing / 20th 2021
- Harry Molloy / Madison Saracen
- Danny Hart / CUBE Factory Racing / 1st 2014
- Charlie Hatton / Continental Atherton MTB Race Team / 3rd 2018, 7th 2019
- Sam Hockenhull / Cannondale / 18th 2021
- Dan Atherton / Continental Atherton MTB Race Team / 2nd 2014, 13th 2016, 3rd 2017
- Matteo Iniguez / Commencal Vee / 6th 2021
- Gaetan Vige / FRF race Company / 5th 2018, 9th 2019, 21st 2021
- Bernard Kerr / Pivot Cycles / 3rd 2015, 1st 2016, 2nd 2017, 2nd 2018, 1st 2019, 1st 2021
- Andreas Kolb / Continental Atherton MTB Race Team
- Josh Lowe / YT Industries / 11th 2021
- Brook Macdonald / MS Mondraker Team / 10th 2016
- David McMillan / Specialized Bicycles
- Jim Monro / Continental Atherton MTB race team / 13th 2021
- Flo Payet / Scott Factory Racing / 7th 2018, 11th 2019
- Kaos Seagrave / FMD Racing / 7th 2017, 14th 2019, 8th 2021.
- Joe Smith / Vitus Bikes / 4th 2014, 2nd 2015, 8th 2016, 4th 2018, 3rd 2019
- Vincent Turpin / Scott Factory Racing
- Theo Erlangson / Computer Mania MTB Team / 6th 2018, 4th 2019, 4th 2021